Virus kills 244 in Angola

The death toll from an outbreak of the rare Marburg virus in Angola has climbed to 244, authorities said.

The death toll from an outbreak of the rare Marburg virus in Angola has climbed to 244, authorities said.

The Health Ministry and World Health Organisation said in a joint statement late yesterday that the number of fatalities rose by five over the previous 24 hours.

Almost all the deaths from the deadly Ebola-like virus have occurred in Uige, a city 180 miles north of Luanda. Several victims who died in other areas of the country had previously been in Uige.

Authorities said they recorded no new cases of Marburg over the past two days.

Also, four neighbouring provinces where doctors previously had detected infections have not reported any new cases for four days, the written statement said.

The Health Ministry was sending a team of 30 doctors and nurses to Uige to join the fight against Marburg today.

There is no vaccine for the virus, which can kill rapidly. The last and previously most severe outbreak of Marburg occurred in neighbouring Congo between 1998 and 2000, killing 128 people.

Experts from the W.H.O., the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention are in Uige.

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