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Officials: Ebola virus outbreak kills 11 in Congo

Officials: Ebola virus outbreak kills 11 in Congo

An Ebola virus outbreak has killed 11 people in western Congo, the health minister said.
A total of 35 people have been infected in Kaluemba, Western Kasai province, where the epidemic began in late November, Health Minister August Mopipi said.
Suspected cases of the highly contagious disease have also been identified in neighboring villages, Mopopi said.
Laboratory tests in both Gabon and Congo's National Institute for Biomedical Research confirmed Ebola in the 11 deaths, he said.
The World Health Organization has confirmed only two Ebola cases, however, and said other diseases were likely involved.
Ebola kills up to 90 percent of the people it infects and is spread through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person or with contaminated objects.
The disease can lie dormant for up to three weeks before flu-like symptoms set in. It then starts attacking internal organs, causing bloody diarrhea and vomiting and death from massive blood loss.
Last year, Ebola killed at least 187 people in the same region of Congo.
Area villagers have recently been reported diarrhea and vomiting of blood, said Olivier Chenebon of the Belgian charity Doctors Without Borders.
The charity is monitoring 102 people who have been in contact with the infected "because it is possible they could contract the disease and infect others," Chenebon said.
An Ebola outbreak in 1995 killed 245 people in the Congolese village of Kikwit.