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article imageMystery Illness Kills 60 in Democratic Republic of the Congo

By Bob Ewing     Aug 31, 2007 in World
A recent outbreak of an mysterious fever has killed sixty people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hospital workers and others who had contact with deceased are among victims.
A fever of unknown origin has killed over sixty people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The outbreak began about three months ago when pigs and chickens starting dying in local villages.
Medical staff and other people, who work or care for the deceased, are among those who have died. All the victims were in situations were they would have had no protection from the as yet unknown disease.
A nurse died last Thursday at a local hospital where she was taking care of infected patients. The medical staff had no masks and this lack placed them at risk.
In is tradition in the DRC for family and friends to wash the bodies of the dead and it is possible that this is how the fever was transmitted. In addition, a local chief died recently and many of the people who attended the funeral also died from fever and dehydration.
A team has been sent by the World health Organization to take blood samples and forward the samples to laboratories that specialize in hemorrhagic fever. It is too early, according to health officials to state whether or not this new outbreak is hemorrhagic fever.
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