- Associated Press - Sunday, September 9, 2012

GOMA, CONGO (AP) - Local authorities in eastern Congo say that the population lack of information on Ebola and the traditional practice of washing corpses before funerals are helping the epidemic to spread.

Fifteen people have died in the current outbreak, which started in mid-August. It started in the village of Isiro and has now spread to Viadana. Medical experts say increased education is needed to encourage people to use extreme caution when washing the bodies of Ebola victims before burial. The disease is spread by contamination from body fluids, including sweat.

Although this is the ninth Ebola epidemic in Congo, it is the first one in the Haut-Uélé territory, in northeastern Congo. Ebola has no cure and is deadly in 40 percent to 90 percent of cases. The disease causes severe internal bleeding.

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