Over the weekend, the Democratic Republic of Congo announced that their haemorrhagic fever outbreak that occurred approximately two weeks ago is actually Ebola, according to the BBC. In addition, a Liberian doctor who was receiving ZMapp died.
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Last week, DR Congo Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi revealed that 13 people had died from an hemorrhagic fever in 10 days and that they had begun testing in order to ascertain the strain of the pathogen.
“All 13 people who have died suffered from a fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and, in a terminal stage, vomiting of a black matter,” Numbi said.
The first victim of the “fever” was reportedly a pregnant woman who came in to contact with 12 other victims, five of which were health workers.
On Sunday, though, Numbi confirmed that two of the deceased did indeed have Ebola, however, the responsible strain is distinct from the one that is wreaking havoc in West Africa.
The BBC reports:
Dr. Numbi said a quarantine zone would be set up in a 100-km (62-mile) radius in Boende where the cases had been registered.
He said this marked the seventh outbreak in DR Congo. The virus was first identified here in 1976 near the Ebola River.
Mr. Numbi added that further tests were being carried out.”
Ebola Kills Yet Another Doctor
Abraham Borbor was one of three doctors who contracted the Ebola virus and was being treated with the untested but seemingly effective ZMapp.
And according to Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown, while Borbor appeared to be recovering, on Sunday, his health deteriorated, “[Dr. Borbor] was showing signs of improvement but yesterday (Sunday) he took a turn for the worse.”
Brown then added, “What this means for the drugs, I don’t know.”
Also on Sunday, British volunteer nurse William Pooley was returned to the U.K., after contracting the deadly virus in Sierra Leone.
Pooley is reportedly not being treated with ZMapp, because it is currently finished.
Japan volunteered to ship T-705 (Avigan) to Ebola victims, but no one knows what side effects may be present with the drug, since it is yet to be tested on monkeys and humans.
The BBC reports:
“T-705 was developed by Japan’s Toyama Chemicals company for use against new strains of influenza. It was approved by the Japanese government earlier this year.
“A company spokesman says the firm believes the similarity between flu viruses and Ebola means Avigan could be effective.”
T-705 has not been approved by the World Health Organization.
Since March, about 2,615 people have been infected with Ebola, with the virus claiming more than 1,400 lives.