Experts say that armed conflict in the area has hampered efforts to curb the outbreak.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has sounded alarm to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) deadly Ebola outbreak with 426 cases reported so far. This is the second largest occurrence in history after the West Africa outbreak.
According to Congo’s health ministry, there have been 198 confirmed deaths to the virus. The outbreak was declared on August 1. The deadly virus, Ebola was initially identified in 1979.
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It is spread in human through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of someone who is sick with Ebola or has recently died. Health experts say that the risk is very much high in African cultures as relatives typically touch the deceased’s body at funerals.
Experts say that armed conflict in the area has hampered efforts to curb the outbreak. Al Jazeera reported that “attacks by rebel groups and open hostility by some wary locals have posed serious challenges to health workers. Many venture out on critical virus containment missions only accompanied by UN peacekeepers.
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Peter Jay Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine said they have the vaccine now. “But the problem is, working in such an unstable area, you have to be assured of safety of the vaccinators, and you have to be able to trace the potential contacts and get them vaccinated,” Peter added.
WHO has highlighted that more than 37,000 people have been given Ebola vaccinations. But it has drawn concern to areas that are virtually inaccessible because of the threat of rebel groups.
Symptoms and Treatment
The symptoms of Ebola are high fever, weakness, intense muscle and joint pain, headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, skin eruptions, kidney and liver failure as well as internal and external bleeding. Previously, there was no vaccination available and the virus used to be treated with range of experimental drugs.
In 2013, the world witnessed the worst Ebola outbreak in Southern Guinea, from where it spread into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. More than 10,000 people had died.