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The worst Ebola outbreak to date in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the worst in the country to date. Around 200 people have died as a result of the disease. Health experts believe that the epidemic can be ended.
Around 200 dead
Ebola continues to spread in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The dangerous infectious disease has cost the lives of around 200 people since the outbreak began about two months ago. As reported by the Congolese Ministry of Health on Saturday evening according to press reports, the Ebola virus has been confirmed in 291 cases so far. Over 28,000 people have been vaccinated against the disease.
Difficulties for helpers
The latest outbreak of dangerous hemorrhagic fever has been reported to focus on the city of Beni and surrounding areas in the troubled province of North Kivu.
Several militias and rebel groups are active in this region, which makes it difficult for helpers to quickly seek out patients, isolate them and contact their relatives.
However, a large vaccination campaign was started.
Epidemic can end
There is opposition from the population to the vaccination, but the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed his hope.
"The fact that we have so far prevented Ebola from spreading to neighboring countries is testament to the hard work and determination of the employees of all partners," said Dr. Tedros according to a message.
He was confident that the outbreak could be ended.
Experts warned of the next outbreak
Ebola outbreaks occur repeatedly on the African continent.
In 2016 alone, more than 28,600 people in West Africa were affected by the worst outbreak ever. There were 11,300 fatalities at the end of this epidemic.
According to experts, it was only a matter of time before the next epidemic occurred. The WHO has long warned that a new outbreak of Ebola is inevitable.
The current outbreak in the Congo is the tenth in the country and is considered the worst. According to the WHO, the largest to date took place in Yambuku in 1976. At that time there were 318 cases, 280 people died.
Illness is often fatal
So far, Ebola has only occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. However, during the last Ebola epidemic in West Africa, individual cases were imported to the United States and Europe.
Early Ebola symptoms are non-specific and resemble a flu-like infection. This can include fever, malaise, fatigue and body aches.
"After 3 to 10 days, pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can be added," explains the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on its website.
"Other symptoms may appear in the course of the disease: reddening of the conjunctiva, headache and chest pain, joint and muscle pain, difficulty swallowing, internal and external bleeding (hemorrhages), delirium and shortness of breath," it continues.
According to the experts, depending on the virus responsible for the outbreak, the disease is fatal in 30 to 90 percent of the cases. (ad)