Health Ministry for the democratic republic of Congo declared Wednesday another 20-people killed by the deadly virus. This has been the 10th time that Congo was hit by Ebola since 1976 – the first time the virus appeared in the country. Ebola causes fevers and fatal hemorrhaging.
The ministry of Health Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga said that “the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a new epidemic”, since there were 26 suspect cases, from which 20 people were found dead. The remaining six survivors were tested for the virus and four tested positive.
This April another the virus hit an area in the Equator Province including Mbandaka – a river port with millions of householders. 33 people were killed at the time, but the authorities declared the epidemic over a couple of months later July 24th.
The epidemic was held under control fast, with the help of the World Health Organization which sent help to those who have been exposed to the virus and to prevent it from spreading. Also, the new much aggressive vaccine helped in stopping the spree.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the director of the World Health Organization said on Twitter that Ebola is a Constant threat in Congo and they will fight as they did the last time.
Also, there is no indication whether these two separate events are related since it happened more than 2,500 kilometers apart from each other, said Dr. Ilunga.
He stated that it’s tougher to hold the virus in North Kivu as this area is filled with armed militants and more than 1 million displaced people. Last December 15 peacekeeper from the United Nations was killed in North Kivu by assailants.
“The major problem we are facing is safely accessing the affected population since this is a war zone” said Dr. Peter Salam deputy general of the World Health Organization.
The governor of North Kivu Province, Julien Paluku, appealed to people on Twitter to act with calm and prudence but also declaring it an epidemic.
Three years ago, due to a slow international response, the virus quickly spread through West Africa killing more than 11,000 people. According to the World Bank the costs from this epidemic were more than $2.2 billion for the three stricken countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.