Posted: Sunday 24th August 2014 at 18:13 pm

DR Congo confirms two Ebola deaths








A health worker offers water to a woman with Ebola in Kenema, Sierra Leone, in July 2014.A health worker gives water to a woman with Ebola in Sierra Leone

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say two people have died from Ebola in the country’s north-west.

They are the first reported Ebola cases outside West Africa since the outbreak there began, although it is not clear if they are directly linked to that outbreak.

So far 1,427 people have died from the virus.

The speed and extent of the outbreak has been “unprecedented”, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

An estimated 2,615 people in West Africa have been infected with Ebola since March.

There is no known cure but some affected people have recovered after being given an experimental drug, ZMapp. However, supplies are now exhausted.

Several people died in the past month after contracting an unidentified fever in the Equateur region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Sunday, Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said eight of the fever victims had been tested for Ebola.

“The results (of two) are positive. The Ebola virus is confirmed in DRC,” Mr Numbi told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

The DRC is where Ebola was first identified in 1976.

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