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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
Congo Ebola 'under control'
Victims are kept in isolation wards
The International Federation of the Red Cross has said an outbreak of Ebola fever in the north-west of Congo-Brazzaville appears to have been contained.

The disease has killed 120 out the 135 people said to be affected since the outbreak was first reported in January.

Red Cross spokesman Didier Revol said no new cases of the highly contagious disease had been registered in the Kelle region of Congo-Brazzaville - the centre of the outbreak.

But he said he remained concerned because many of the villagers who had fled into the forest, and were now returning, had been living on primate meat.

Correspondents say Ebola can be transmitted via the infected meat of gorillas and chimpanzees.


Ebola is one of the deadliest viruses in the world, killing up to 90% of its victims in days.

January's outbreak was traced by Mr Revol to three hunters who ate infected bush meat and died a week later.

The disease begins with high fever, diarrhoea, bleeding from the nose and gums, and can eventually induce massive internal haemorrhages.

Victims are usually kept in isolation wards, and doctors who treat them wear gloves and goggles.

The Red Cross official said that preventive measures should include quickly informing health services.

Mr Revol said traditional funeral rites that include washing and kissing the bodies of the dead should be discouraged.

The Congolese health ministry agency which is dealing with the Ebola outbreak, has also declared Mbomo, the other Ebola region, under control, AFP reported.

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My brush with Ebola
11 Mar 03  |  Africa

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