According to the health ministry’s report on 4 August, the latest Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has made 33 victims in the eastern part of the country.
Since the outbreak was declared on 1 August in North Kivu province, there have been 13 cases of Ebola confirmed. Among the 13 confirmed cases, only three of the infected died, but the death toll has risen to 33, said the health authorities.
According to a WHO official, the Ebola outbreak is in a “war zone” in the DR of Congo, making it a difficult task to contain the spread. Moreover, health workers have to make their way among over 100 armed groups in North Kivu, out of which 20 groups are “highly active,” said the emergency response chief Peter Salama (WHO).
Vaccinations – A Part of the Response
After WHO and the Kinshasa government put an end of an Ebola outbreak in northwestern Equateur province that killed already 33 people, a week later, the eastern DRC has seen another outbreak.
The health ministry announced that similar to the outbreak in northwestern Equateur province, in this case, “vaccinations will be an integral part of the response.”
Since 1976, this outbreak would be the 10th one in the DRC. It was first discovered in the north of the country. According to the World Health Organization, the majority of the new cases recorded were in the district of Mangina – at 30 km from in the district of Mangina. The WHO stated that the area is a conflict zone and that “the major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population.”
At the moment, Ebola is among the most feared viruses, which can cause a hemorrhagic fever. In fatal cases, it causes the internal organs, mouth, eyes and ears to bleed. It can be passed from African fruit bats when humans kill them for food.
The DRC authorities first found out about the outbreak after a 65-year-old woman from Mangina died at the end of July. After being buried, members of her family started showing symptoms of the virus. Seven of the ones infected have died.
Doctor Ndjoloko Tambwe Bathe stated in an interview that they “can not tell you whether we are making good progress or not”.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.