25 April 2022 – After a new case of Ebola was discovered, health officials inside the Democratic Republic of Congo announced a new outbreak.
According to CNN, the case was confirmed in a 31-year-old male who started showing signs on April 5 and went to a nearby health care facility after being sick at home for far more than a week. On Thursday, he was taken to an Ebola rehab clinic for critical care, but he died just hours later.
According to the World Health Organization, health care personnel noticed the symptoms and “quickly” submitted samples for testing. The source of the outbreak is yet unknown to investigators.
In a statement, Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, warned, “Time is not on our side.”
“The sickness had a two-week head start, and we’re now catching up,” she explained. “The good news is that the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health authorities have more practice than anyone else in the world in quickly suppressing Ebola epidemics.”
With 54 cases recorded in 2018, and 130 cases reported in 2020, this is the country’s northwestern Equateur Province’s third outbreak in recent years. It’s also the country’s 14th Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.
According to the WHO, steps to halt the current outbreak have begun, including verification that the person who died was given a “safe and dignified burial” that reduced the danger of hazardous fluids infecting others. The hospital where he was treated has been decontaminated.
More than 70 of the patient’s contacts have been tracked down, and vaccines in Mbandaka, where he was found, have been enhanced. The country already has Ebola vaccine on hand and plans to adopt the “ring vaccination” technique, in which contacts and contacts’ personal connections are vaccinated to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Many people in Mbandaka have already received Ebola vaccinations, which could help lessen the disease’s impact,” Moeti said. “Everyone who was immunized during the outbreak in 2020 will be vaccinated again.”
Death rates in previous Ebola outbreaks have ranged from 25% to 90%, although viable therapies are now available, according to the WHO. Patients who receive treatment early in their illness have a considerably better chance of surviving.
Ebola is transmitted by getting into contact with an infected person’s bodily excretions or contaminated materials. Muscle spasms and a fever are the first symptoms, which are similar to those of other illnesses like malaria.