Rolling Out

Is Ebola virus mutating? 3rd strain in Congo

World Health Organization
World Health Organization (WHO)

As the Ebola virus rages in West Africa, the World Health Organization has confirmed that there are newly identified cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The new strain is genetically unrelated to the one that is currently in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. In addition, the World Health Organization released the following statement regarding the virus “Results from the virus characterization, together with findings from the epidemiological investigation, are definitive: the outbreak in DRC is distinct and independent, with no relationship to the outbreak in West Africa.”

Even though both viruses are genetically unique, they are both derived from the original Ebola Zaire strain. Clearly identified among the first victims of the Ebola virus in the Congo was a pregnant woman from Ikanamongo Village who died on Aug. 11 of this year. According to local authorities, she died after preparing bushmeat her husband had hunted.

The outbreak in the Congo so far has 53 confirmed cases of Ebola including 31 dead. Seven of those dead were health care workers.

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