Ebola outbreak kills 10 in Congo

    Just Watched

    Deadly Ebola virus strikes Congo

Deadly Ebola virus strikes Congo 02:39

Story highlights

  • WHO spokesman says there's no link between Congo, Uganda outbreaks
  • The natural habitat of the virus is the central African forest belt
  • Most of the Congo cases and deaths occurred in the Isiro area
  • The virus is highly infectious and often fatal

The Ebola virus has killed 10 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

As of Monday, WHO said, the deaths are among 13 probable and two confirmed Ebola cases reported in Orientale province in eastern Congo.

The Congolese Ministry of Health has set up a task force to deal with the outbreak and is working with WHO, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Twelve cases and eight deaths occurred in the area of Isiro, a town in Congo's north, WHO said. The fatalities included three health care workers. One death each occurred in Congo's Pawa and Dungu regions.

Prisoner with suspected case of Ebola escapes from hospital in Uganda

Congo's Orientale province borders western Uganda, where 24 probable and confirmed cases, including 16 deaths, have been reported since the beginning of July.

    Just Watched

    Deadly Ebola virus spreads in Uganda

Deadly Ebola virus spreads in Uganda 02:28
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Hospital in middle of Ebola crisis

Hospital in middle of Ebola crisis 02:46
PLAY VIDEO

But WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told CNN that there's no connection between the outbreaks in Uganda and Congo.

    The viruses, he said, are two different Ebola strains. There are five strains of the virus, a highly infectious and often fatal agent spread through direct contact with bodily fluids

    And, Hartl said, it is extremely difficult to travel between Isiro, for example, and Kiballe, the western Ugandan district where an outbreak emerged last month.

    That's because it is heavily forested with impassable roads, and the only viable way to travel is going 10 to 15 kilometers per hour via motorbike. So it is unlikely there would be contact between Ugandans and Congolese that would lead to infection.

    Could the Ebola outbreak spread to the U.S.?

    The natural habitat of the Ebola virus is in the central African forest belt region, Hartl said. It's "either by chance" or from "more surveying" for the disease, he said, that "we see these two outbreaks concurrently."

    Health agencies have embarked on an aggressive approach in Uganda to deal with the cases.

    WHO has asked countries bordering Uganda to "enhance surveillance" for the virus. The last confirmed case in Uganda was admitted to an isolation facility on August 4, WHO said.

    The virus was first detected in 1976 in Congo, when the country was known as Zaire. Symptoms can include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, a measles-like rash, red eyes and, at times, bleeding from body openings.

    What is the Ebola virus?

        CNN recommends

      • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

        As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
      • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
      • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

        Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
      • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

        It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.