Suspected Cases of Ebola Rise to 18 in Democratic Republic of Congo

About a week ago, in addition to the nine suspected cases, 125 patients who had come into close contact with the disease were being monitored. Now, about 400 patients are being followed, and the two newest possible cases were reported Monday and Tuesday, according to the latest report on the W.H.O. website.

The Ebola virus causes fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea, and it spreads easily by contact with bodily fluids. The death rate is high, often surpassing 50 percent, particularly with the Zaire strain, which has been confirmed in two cases in this outbreak.

The outbreak was reported in a densely forested part of Bas-Uele Province, near the border with the Central African Republic. Cases have occurred in four separate parts of a region called the Likati health zone.

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A History of Ebola in 24 Outbreaks

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Aid groups and the W.H.O. have struggled to reach the affected area, which has no paved roads and can be reached only by a motorcycle ride through the forest, or by helicopter or light aircraft.

The first known case occurred on April 22, when a 39-year-old man who had fever, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding died on the way to a hospital in the Likati zone. The person caring for him and a motorcyclist who transported him also died.

The first six months of the response to the outbreak are expected to cost the W.H.O. and aid groups $10 million, Dr. Salama said at the briefing. He said…

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