25 May 2018
Ebola Outbreak update
Tagsbody fluids, Ebola
Ebola virus disease has taken the lives of 27 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Based on information gathered this week, WHO also reported a total of 58 cases of the rare and deadly illness in the Congo outbreak.
Ebola virus disease, which causes fever, severe headache and in some cases hemorrhaging, most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates, such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees. There are five subtypes of Ebola virus, four of which can be transmitted from wild animals to people, who can then spread the disease person-to-person.
The current outbreak is caused by the Zaire ebolavirus, which has the highest mortality rate, ranging from 60% to 90%, according to WHO.
The total case count includes 28 confirmed, 21 probable and nine suspected patients from three health zones in the country’s northwestern province of Equateur: Bikoro, which reported the first and most cases, Iboko and Wangata.
The newest cases confirmed by WHO occurred in Wangata, a health zone in Mbandaka, a city on the Congo River and boasting a population of about a million.
Route of transmission:
Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with either bodily fluids or objects contaminated by someone ill with the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some cases, the virus is spread from contact with someone who has died from the disease. The virus enters the body through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth. People can get it through sexual contact, as well.
Three health care workers were among the 58 cases reported.
A vaccination campaign has also been launched in the city and it is hoped this will help halt the spread of the disease.
Other strategies include public health messages through radio, schools, churches and word of mouth, educating people about Ebola and how to prevent it.
Most deadly Ebola outbreaks:
- 11,308 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, 2014-6
- 280 deaths in DR Congo, 1976
- 254 deaths in DR Congo, 1995
- 224 deaths in Uganda, 2000
- 187 deaths in DR Congo, 2007
Source: WHO and CNN