The Ebola virus strikes again in Africa. An outbreak has been detected in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 17 victims are to be deplored.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing another episode of Ebola-related haemorrhagic fever. A new outbreak of the disease has been confirmed by the DRC Ministry of Health in the north-west of the country, near the town of Ikoko Impenge, next to the town of Bikoro.
The first assessment reports 17 victims according to the health authorities. “Twenty-one cases of fever with haemorrhagic signs and 17 deaths” were recorded with a fatality rate of 80%, says a statement of the Ministry of Health, which describes the situation as an “international public health emergency.”
The World Health Organization is on the alert and will send epidemiologists and prevention experts to help health authorities on the ground to prevent any spread of the highly contagious disease. In addition to collecting samples from the population and taking care of “suspicious” cases, health professionals will disseminate prevention messages.
The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from wild animals (monkeys, bats) and spreads in populations by human-to-human transmission: through direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or body fluids of infected persons or with surfaces or materials contaminated by this type of liquid, the WHO explains.
While rehydration and symptomatic treatment improve the survival rates of people infected with the virus, no treatment can eliminate the virus to date, says the WHO.
This is the ninth outbreak of the ebola haemorrhagic fever in the country. It is in the DRC that the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976. These new cases raise fears of a resurgence of the epidemic in the country.
Between 2013 and 2016 Ebola has killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa, mainly in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria.