The number or Ebola victims in Congo continues to grow, reaching 12 fatalities, according to the last report on 27 May from the country’s health ministry.
The last victim died in a rural area in the northwestern Equateur province, in Iboko. This happened one day before vaccines would start being sent to rural areas. The statement received from the health ministry also said that the province also has four new suspected cases of Ebola.
This Year’s Outbreak: 35 Confirmed Ebola Cases
Since the Ebola outbreak this year in Congo, health workers have done their best to identify as many cases of Ebola infection and to also find the people in contact with the infected patients. There have been cases of the disease in three areas: Iboko, rural Bikoro, and Mbandaka – the provincial capital. Mbandaka has a population of 1.2 million people and is a transport hub on the Congo River.
There is no cure for Ebola at the moment, but there is an experimental vaccine that can inoculate people that came in contact with Ebola cases. The vaccination campaign has started today in Iboko and Bikoro.
Mbandaka already has the vaccination campaign underway, where they have identified four new cases of Ebola. There are almost 100 health workers vaccinated, as they come in direct contact with the virus. Ebola can be transmitted through bodily fluids from either the living and the dead.
The outbreak was announced in May, and according to the World Health Organization, it has been under control, with no spreading over the borders. The next weeks will be crucial in determining if the situation gets worse, or cannot be contained.
There are many complication factors. The virus can spread to major cities, and there can be different “separate epicenters” of the infection. This can make monitoring, finding and containing the infected people a lot more difficult.
The Ring Vaccination – Identifying 600 People in Contact With Infected Cases
At the moment, WHO uses the “ring vaccination” approach” to vaccinate people who came in contact with the ones infected or who are suspected to be infected and those who were in contact with the suspected. Until now, over 600 people that came into contact with the infected or suspected have been identified.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the WHO Director-General, who stated in a meeting in Geneva on 26 May that:
“I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible.”
To contain the spreading of the virus, Who warns against international travel, talked about trade restrictions and received help from nine countries around Congo to prevent the spreading of Ebola into other regions.
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.