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Mayinga N'Seka was the index case in an Ebola epidemic in Zaïre, now Democratic Republic of the Congo. The means by which she contracted the virus remain uncertain. She was admitted to the Ngaliema hospital in Kinshasa. However, none of the people who came into contact with "Nurse Mayinga" contracted the virus. She died on October 20, 1976. There were 318 cases in this outbreak, which had an 88% mortality rate.
There have been a few written assertions that authorities investigating that outbreak were initially unable to determine Nurse Mayinga's given name. It is alleged that many of the people who were interviewed had never inquired or could not recall, and that, of the official documents available to the investigators, many only listed: "Mayinga, N." It is unclear whether this was actually true.
The particular strain of Ebola was named "Zaïre virus strain Mayinga".
In his book about the 1976 outbreak, Ebola, William Close writes that Nurse Mayinga had treated a nun who died from disease during the first month of epidemic. The nun, Sister Fermina, worked at the Catholic mission in Yambuku, the center of the outbreak. Fermina died at the hospital in Kinshasa while trying to return to Belgium so a diagnosis on the disease could be performed. The highly contagious and deadly nature of the disease was still unknown when Mayinga treated Fermina, and no special precautions were taken to prevent contact with the nun's blood or fluids. The 22-year-old Mayinga spoke excellent English and was preparing to travel to Europe to study advanced nursing on a scholarship at the time of her death.
One of the nurses in the photograph may be Mayinga's sister, Mabia, a student nurse at the time. Dr. Close writes in his book that Mabia told specialists who had come to Kinshasa to investigate the disease that causes the "regular clinic doctor to refuse to enter the room."
Mayingas' blood has also been used all over the world in procuring various strain frequencies and structures about Ebola Zaire. She was also admitted to Yambuku hospital before being admitted to, and finally perishing in Ngaliema hospital.
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