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Ebola Death Toll Hits 22 as 2 More Die of Virus

January 01, 2002|From Reuters

LIBREVILLE, Gabon — Two more people have died from Ebola in Africa, bringing to 22 the death toll from an outbreak of the virus in Gabon and the neighboring Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said Monday.

"Thirty confirmed cases . . . including 22 deaths have been reported. An additional five cases are under investigation in Gabon," the WHO said in a statement.

The organization said last week that 20 people had died from the disease, which is spread by contact with bodily fluids. There is no vaccine and no known cure.

The outbreak was first reported in early December in northern Gabon. The WHO said 18 of the confirmed cases were in Gabon and 12 were in the Republic of Congo. A total of 182 other people thought to have had direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of those infected were also being followed up, the agency said.

Early diagnosis of Ebola is difficult because victims suffer symptoms similar to those of the flu. The virus becomes apparent only in the last stages, when it eats through the victim's veins and arteries, causing massive internal bleeding.

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