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U.N. helps Ebola fight in DRC

28 cases have been reported in Democratic Republic of the Congo

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo | September 5, 2012

U.N. officials are working with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to stem an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The officials said 28 cases, including 14 deaths, have been reported from the Haut-Uele district in the central African country's northeast. Three of the deaths were healthcare workers in the district´s capital.

The U.N. World Health Organization said in a statement it has deployed epidemiologists and logisticians to support the DRC Ministry of Health. WHO said it is working with partners such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to coordinate response efforts, monitor the situation, and provide information of the disease to the population.

The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, secretions, other bodily fluids or organs of infected persons or animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and antelopes, and it has an incubation period of two to 21 days, WHO said.

Those with the disease can experience fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and impaired kidney and liver function, WHO said. In the most severe cases, the virus leads to both external and internal bleeding.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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