Ebola is back: World Health Organization confirms outbreak in DR Congo
According to reports, nine people in a very remote part of the country recently fell ill with a hemorrhagic fever. “We always take this very seriously”, said World Health Organization spokesman Eric Kabambi.
Ebola occasionally jumps from animals including bats and monkeys to humans, and without preventative measures, the virus can spread quickly between people.
It was not immediately clear how the first victim, a deceased male, caught the virus, although past outbreaks have been linked to contact with infected bush meat such as apes. “Our country is full of people well-trained in this matter and our health professionals also helped contain similar epidemics in other countries”, it added.
A team of experts is on its way to the area, and health workers will be supplied with protective equipment, WHO said.
It’s clear why: The Ebola epidemic that hit West Africa in 2014 killed more than 11,300 people before World Health Organization finally declared the region Ebola-free past year.
Nigeria was able to curtail the disease and was subsequently declared Ebola free by WHO.
The person confirmed as having an Ebola infection has died. “You can not take any risks and you should take all stops out to contain it”.
There is no approved vaccine to prevent the virus, and there is no approved treatment or cure.
Many people perished from this infectious disease in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014/2015.
UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told a press briefing here on Friday that the recent arrivals included people with severe wounds and burn injuries, who have been transferred to a local hospital to receive urgent medical attention. By comparison, there were 23 Ebola cases in the control group that had not gotten the vaccine.
Ebola is a highly infectious virus spread through contact with bodily fluids, and testing shows the latest outbreak involves the Zaire strain, the most risky of the viruses known to cause the disease. “We’ve shown that by working collaboratively, across global borders and sectors, we can develop and test vaccines rapidly and use them to help bring epidemics to an end”.
But some questions about the vaccine still remain.
This followed the outbreak of the disease in Congo.