Ahead of Nigeria’s 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo DR in Calabar on September 6, there are fears that Nigerians may not actually be the only ones to be scared of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in the country.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says according to a report on www.thecable.ng on Friday, about 70 out of 592 people that contracted hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, an ailment which has similar symptoms with the Ebola Virus Disease, have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Michel Wangi, spokesman for DRC’s government, said the origin of the ailment, which has been spreading rapidly across Boende, a town in Equateur province of the country, was unknown.
Coincidentally, the Ebola river where the first case of the highly contagious virus was recorded in 1976 is situated in the same province.
However, Wangi said that a delegation of experts led by acting governor Sebastian Impeto and health minister, Kabange Numbi, have been sent to the region to find out the cause of the disease.
WHO also revealed that it has sent its own representatives to the area and that some samples would be flown from Boende to Kinshasa, the country’s capital, for further testing Friday.
A doctor and four other medical personnel are among those who have died from the disease.
Following the reported cases of Ebola deaths in Nigeria, the Rwanda Football Federation opted to stop its national team from honouring the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Super Eagles next month (September 2014).
The Confederation of African Football handed Congo DR their place. The Congo DR themselves wished that CAF shifted the venue for their game against African champions, Nigeria, but CAF had since given Calabar the nod to host the game.