Congo health ministry reports first death in Ebola outbreak

Ebony Scott
May 12, 2018

According to Reuters, the main hospital in Bikoro has received a new suspected Ebola case with the hospital's director confirming that on Friday. Three of the 32 cases were among healthcare workers. "There are no deaths yet, but all of the sick are presenting signs of fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and intense fatigue".

CNN reported that there have been a total of 21 suspected cases and 17 deaths in the past five weeks, and the current outbreak has already surpassed the numbers from the 2017 epidemic. As such, the common procedure is to isolate any person who shows any of the symptoms to avoid further contamination.

The Ebola virus was first identified in the 1970s in DR Congo in a village near the Ebola River, which gave a name to the disease. Sickness is occurring in the Bikoro health zone, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Mbandaka, the capital of Equator province. In fact, during the large West Africa outbreak, another Ebola popped up in the DRC (66 cases) and was promptly detected and contained. Soon, health-care workers and those who touched the bodies of the dead were coming down with the virus themselves, and then passing it to others. But the tree burned down and the bats were reduced to char, destroying the opportunity to search for much evidence-although researchers were able to use trace DNA fragments to pinpoint that they were Mops condylurus, an insect-eating species common across central and west Africa. Medical supplies are provided by worldwide agencies, but stockouts of medical supplies are common. However, the disease is not as gruesome as has sometimes been reported (body organs don't liquiefy), which makes it hard to figure out what's Ebola and what's not.

On Tuesday, Ilunga requested support to strengthen the response to this outbreak.

Active surveillance activities among the community, the Ikoko-Impenge health centre team and Bikoro General Reference Hospital are being undertaken. It will be boosted by another million pounds ($1.35 million) from the United Kingdom government, Wellcome said in a statement.

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To date, the outbreak is reported in a remote area and appears to be geographically limited.

Democratic Republic of Congo - a simple intervention that could potentially have saved thousands of lives had it been ready in 2014.

World Health Organization immediately jumped into action once the outbreak was declared, he said, and was now in "full surge capacity".

The Health Ministry has also set up a National Emergency Council tasked with placing measures to curb hazardous diseases from spreading to the country. He said that Kenya mainly receive traders from DRC, with a pocket of tourists.

Other reports by GizPress

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