Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Rwanda on high alert after Ebola hits DR Congo

Rwanda on high alert after Ebola hits DR Congo

The case fatality rates in the recent outbreaks of Ebola viruses have varied between 20% and 90%.

The outbreak declared in North Kivu province on August 1 poses the same problems as past cases in the DRC, including major logistical hurdles in a volatile country with weak health infrastructure.

Four people have tested positive for Ebola in and around Mangina, a town some 100 km (60 miles) from the Ugandan border, and 20 others have died of similar hemorrhagic fever symptoms without having been tested for the disease.

"Ebola is highly infectious so we have put in place measures", Uganda's Junior Health Minister Sarah Opendi told Reuters.

Last week, officials managed to kill an outbreak on the other side of the Central African nation after it claimed 33 lives. He says identifying the type of Ebola virus that is circulating is a priority, as that will tell scientists whether the vaccine used to help contain the outbreak in Equateur province can also be used in North Kivu.

Ever since it was discovered near the Ebola River in northern Congo, the country has seen 10 outbreaks of the virus since 1976, nearly twice as many epidemics as other nations.

This may be hard to do in northeastern Congo, as the World Health Organization estimates that the outbreak could spread over tens of kilometers.

"It is from where they get this Ebola and we have talked to the people in these districts to stop eating bats and monkeys". It spreads through contact with bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.

Health officials have given new details about how the latest outbreak came to light. "So this is what really raised the alarm toward the end of July about the new event - she had fever, vomiting, bloody nose and bloody diarrhea as her final set of symptoms". Even in the modern day world, there is no licensed treatment to neutralise the Ebola virus. The swift vaccinations of more than 3,300 people helped contain the previous outbreak.

This should allow health officials to again use what has become the greatest weapon against Ebola epidemics to date.

"Yes, I am afraid of this disease because it will have an impact on the economy of Congo", he said, adding that if the border is closed the community will suffer.

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