Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Ebola Death Claims Another Life In Congo

Ebola Death Claims Another Life In Congo Ebola Death Claims Another Life In Congo
Melissa Porter | 29 May, 2018, 20:04

Several hundred people who have come into contact with infected persons are now being monitored by health authorities.

Oxfam has launched a public awareness drive to help keep Ebola under control in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The vaccination campaign will begin Monday in the rural areas of Bikoro and Iboko in the country's northwest, health ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga told The Associated Press.

Health officials say they face a huge significant mistrust especially as many place more faith in clerics in white collars rather than doctors in white coats.

One new Ebola death in Congo has now brought the total to twelve confirmed deaths, according to the local health ministry.

"We need more programs and case studies of people who have died from the epidemic so that people can understand the seriousness of the epidemic that is already in a city like Mbandaka", said Mark Bolakofo, a Mbandaka resident, from Bikoro village, 130 km south of Mbandaka.

Health professionals have pinpointed people who have had contact with the Ebola-confirmed patients within 3 regions of the Equateur province, Iboko, and the rural region between Bikoro and Mbandaka, the capital of the province with a population of approximately 1.2 million and a central transit point on the Congo River. This can make monitoring, finding and containing the infected people a lot more hard.

Identifying contacts is crucial for stopping the spread of the disease.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, said Saturday in a meeting in Geneva that he's committed to stopping this outbreak at all cost.

In history, this is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified.

"It is really important that we redouble our efforts to engage with the community so that everyone understands how Ebola is being transmitted, and that keeping the sick person at home not only decreases the chances of survival for this person, because this person then is not receiving supportive treatment, but is also putting at risk the whole family", added Mr. Jasarevic.

The case fatality ratio for all confirmed cases admitted into Ebola treatment centres should be less than 50 percent, it said. World Health Organization is applying a "ring vaccination" method on anyone suspected or infected, and who have come in contact with Ebola.

When Ebola hit the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013 and 2014, killing more than 11,000 people, suspicion of health workers in their spacesuit-like protective gear also prompted patients to flee, helping accelerate the disease's spread. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding. The case has been recorded one day before the start of the vaccination campaign in the rural areas recently affected by the virus.