CONGO — According to local health authorities, there are now 426 cases of Ebola in eastern Congo.

Reports by the World Health Organization show there are a total of 14 health zones with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola virus disease in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Ebola virus is transferred to humans through contact with fluids of dead wild animals that are hosts to the virus.

The virus can then be transmitted among the human population through direct contact with contaminated body fluids such as sweat, saliva, blood and sexual fluids.

It takes the virus up to 21 days to incubate. Muscle pain, fever, weakness and headaches are among the first symptoms. As the disease advances, symptoms can include vomiting, rash and bleeding from eyes and gums.

WHO authorities stated that there is a very high chance of the outbreak spreading to areas surrounding North Kivu and Ituri, as well as to neighboring countries.

Local health workers and health organizations on site are doing their best to contain the virus through vaccination, community engagement and by practicing safe burials of contagious bodies.

CBC reports there are 300 WHO specialists in the area, and more than 37,000 people have received Ebola vaccinations.
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