Thursday, May 7, 2015Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ebola claims up to 32 lives in DR Congo: WHO

Published on Sep 18, 2012 7:06 PM
Photo made on July 31, 2012 shows Medical personel from Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans frontiers, MSF), preparing to disinfect part of the sealed-off grounds of a hospital at Kigadi town in Uganda's western district of Kibaale, the epicenter of an ebola outbreak. -- PHOTO: AFP

KINSHASA (AFP) - An outbreak of Ebola fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo may have claimed up to 32 lives since May, including that of a woman who had just given birth, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

By Sept 15, "a cumulative total of 72 cases was recorded, including 14 cases that were confirmed positive after laboratory analysis, 32 probable cases and 26 suspected cases, while 32 deaths were registered," the WHO announced in Kinshasa.

A baby born prematurely "in the isolation centre in Isiro (the epicentre of the epidemic in north-eastern DR Congo) to a mother infected by the Ebola virus was still alive while his mother died on Saturday," the statement said.

In DR Congo, which has known eight outbreaks of the often fatal haemorraghic fever, it was the first time a pregnant woman had a child, because "Ebola and pregnancy are almost incompatible," Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!