BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 13:03 GMT
Gabon takes steps against Ebola
The health authorities in Gabon have taken measures to prevent the suspected Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Congo from spreading.

At least 48 people are known to have died in recent weeks in a suspected outbreak of Ebola in the Cuvette area of Congo-Brazzaville, near the border with Gabon.

When the last Ebola oubreak in Gabon killed 53 people year ago, the authorities were accused of not doing enough to help those affected.

There is no cure for Ebola, which causes up to 95% of its victims to bleed to death.

More than 1,000 people have died of Ebola since the virus was first identified in 1976 in western Sudan and in a nearby region of Congo, according to the World Health Organisation.

No chances

The health authorities in Gabon say there are no suspected cases of Ebola in the country but they are taking no chances.

Nurse tends to Ebola victim in Uganda
Medical professionals are at great risk of contracting Ebola

There have been four Ebola outbreaks in the country.

A team of experts from the Health Ministry and the Medical Research International Centre in Franceville has been sent to two areas in the north-east, near the border with Congo, which were contaminated last year.

Guidelines have also been issued to locals to prevent the suspected Ebola outbreak in Congo from spreading.

Bush meat

People have been asked not to touch dead animals in the forest, or those with an unusual behaviour - when they do not try to flee when hunted, for instance.

Gorilla
Doctors say the virus can spread through infected bush meat

People have also been told to report any suspected case of Ebola to the health authorities.

The areas at risk are covered in forest which stretches across the Congo Basin, which also takes in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

The authorities in Congo-Brazzaville have not yet been unable to confirm the Ebola virus is the cause of the 48 deaths reported this week.

But the ministry of health is having blood samples from five of the deceased analysed in Gabon.

Results of the Ebola tests are expected within the next five days.

See also:

12 Feb 03 | Africa
08 Feb 03 | Medical notes
05 Feb 03 | Africa
18 Dec 02 | Health
16 Jan 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes