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Suspected Hemorrhagic Fever Kills More Than 100 in DRC

More than 100 people have died in the central Democratic Republic of Congo, in what health officials suspect is an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever.

The chief health official for Kasai Occidental Province, Jean-Constatin Kanow, says a total of 217 people in four villages have come down with the illness.

Kanow says the outbreak appears related to the funerals of two village chiefs in early June. The U.N.-funded IRIN news service quotes him as saying all the people who assisted with those burials have died.

Medical teams dispatched the region plan to take blood samples to better identify the illness.

In the past, the Democratic Republic of Congo has endured outbreaks of both Marburg and Ebola, two types of hemorrhagic fever caused by viruses that can attack the central nervous system and cause bleeding from the eyes, ears, and other parts of the body.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.