Gabon Cordons Off Ebola Zone
After Virus Deaths

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Gabon has cordoned off a remote forest village to stop an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus thought to have killed at least 10 people, health authorities said on Monday.
The World Health Organization confirmed during the weekend that at least one of those killed by hemorrhagic fever in the central African country had died of Ebola -- which bleeds its victims to death and has no known cure.
"The zone is completely cordoned," Gabon's assistant health director, Obame Edou, told Reuters. "A team has left for the area today and the government will not delay in releasing news on the epidemic."
Edou could not say whether the death toll in the northeastern village of Mekambo had risen above 10, including one nurse. An Ebola epidemic in a nearby area of Gabon killed at least 66 people in 1996. The latest deaths coincide with an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever that has killed at least 28 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo -- where Ebola was discovered in 1976.
Uganda issued an Ebola alert in areas bordering Congo, even though the affected village of Misangandu is roughly 620 miles southwest of Uganda, where Ebola killed 170 people last year.
The World Health Organization said on Sunday it was sending a second team to Gabon to try to contain the outbreak and identify the source.
The only route into Mekambo is a rough road through thick rainforest, but reports of the deaths have set people on edge across the country of 1.2 million.
Ebola is passed on through contact with body fluids. Victims suffer from aches and fever similar to flu before developing severe headaches, stomach pains and diarrhea.
Only in the last stages -- when the virus eats through victims' veins and arteries and blood courses from their bodies -- is it clear that Ebola has struck. In some epidemics, up to 90 percent of victims die within days.
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