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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
Angola virus outbreak 'not over'
The world's worst outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus is not over and is spreading to new parts of Angola, the World Health Organization says.

Some 292 people have now died, out of 336 known cases.

"We are very concerned about the situation," said WHO spokesperson Aphaluck Bhatiasevi.

There is no known cure for Marburg, which is related to Ebola. Early symptoms are diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, and then bleeding.

Obstacle

New cases of the haemorrhagic fever have been found in parts of the northern Angolan province of Uige, which had not previously been affected, Mr Bhatiasevi said.

Map of Angola
Most of the 336 cases have been recorded in Uige or in people who have travelled from the town of Uige.

Local traditions such as washing the bodies of dead relatives have helped spread the disease, which is highly contagious and is spread by body fluids, such as blood and sweat, which are excreted after death.

Deputy Health Minister Jose Van Dunem said persuading people to change their behaviour was the biggest obstacle faced by the authorities.

"People think if they don't bathe the dead body then they are not properly putting them to rest," he said.


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See how Angola is fighting the Marburg virus



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