Congo Reports Second Ebola Outbreak In Two Years

Congo Reports Second Ebola Outbreak In Two Years

Six people died due to outbreak of Ebola virus in Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Government announced.

What Is Ebola?

Ebola is a viral disease which is very rare but very deadly. It kills body cells causing inner bleeding and destroys immune system. Almost all the organs are damaged as immune system is destroyed.

It is very dangerous but it is only spread by direct contact with the skin or body fluid of the infected person. Even a person who is infected by the virus but doesn’t show symptoms can’t spread it.

Symptoms of Ebola virus are shown in first 2 to 22 days. It feels like flu at start. Symptoms of Ebola are the following:

  • Headache
  • Muscle and Joints ache
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite

Heavy internal bleeding greatly impacts eyes, ears and nose. Some patients may have blood vomits or cough, bloody diarrhea and get rashes.

Ebola virus first emerged in Congo in 1976.  Since then it has affected many African countries. In the preceding 40 years, Ebola virus outbroke 22 times.

Current Outbreak

This outbreak of Ebola is at a very critical time. The COVID-19 is at its peak and the world is facing a lot of problems. The World Health Organization has to fight the coronavirus as well as the Ebola. WHO has its most focus on the COVID-19 but it is also working on other health problems.

“The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak,” WHO said in a statement.

Also Read: Side Effects Of Wearing Face Masks

Initial information from Congo’s health ministry is that six people have been infected by Ebola virus in Wangata, out of which four have died and two are alive. Three of the cases are identified by laboratory tests. More patients are expected as the surveillance activities increase.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said, “this is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face. Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”

The Ebola virus appeared in Congo last time in 2018. This is the 11th outbreak of Ebola in the area. WHO was already working in Congo to increase the country’s capacity to fight such outbreak. The team has started working to collect samples and test them in laboratory. They are also trying to trace the contacts of the patients.

The Health Ministry of Democratic Republic of Congo began its countdown for 42 days, on 14 May, for the declaration of end of the 10th outbreak which lasted about two years. In the 10th outbreak, there were 3,406 cases and 2,243 deaths.

The largest epidemic of Ebola was in the 2014-2016 in West Africa. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 patients died.

WHO says that Ebola virus lives in bats and there is a chance of another outbreak in Congo.

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