DR CONGO: Catholic Priest ‘Down With Ebola’

HEALTH workers have reportedly quarantined a Catholic priest after being infected with the Ebola virus in the town of Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo, medical sources told AFP Thursday.

“We have quarantined a priest from the diocese of Mbandaka-Bikoro who tested positive” for the Ebola virus, a medical source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Religious authorities could not be immediately contacted.

DRC health officials launched a small, targeted vaccination campaign this week to help rein in the latest Ebola outbreak in the country, which so far has claimed 27 lives.

Kinshasa announced on May 8 that there had been cases of the notorious haemorrhagic fever in a remote northwestern district called Bikoro.

Last Thursday, the first case was reported in a city — Mbandaka, a transport hub located on the Congo River.

According to a World Health Organization count, 58 cases have been identified since early April. It was not possible to establish on Thursday whether the priest was among them.

Meanwhile, UNICEF said Thursday it was committed to helping schools and children in the fight against the spread of the virus.

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