Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo
Médecins Sans Frontières continues to fight Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo
September 7, 2012
An emergency team from Médecins Sans Frontières continues to battle an outbreak of Ebola in north eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has killed 14 people.
Two people have been admitted to hospital in Isiro, Orientale province, which is the epicentre of the outbreak. There have been new confirmed cases of Ebola over the past week, suggesting that the epidemic is far from over.
“The last confirmed case was admitted to the treatment centre on September 2,” says Médecins Sans Frontières emergency coordinator Olimpia de la Rosa.
An area cannot be declared officially free of Ebola until 42 days have elapsed since the last confirmed case.
A Médecins Sans Frontières team of around 80 staff is working with the Congolese Ministry of Health and other organisations to care for patients, prevent the disease from spreading and carry out health promotion activities.
Médecins Sans Frontières staff are training Congolese health workers to detect the symptoms of Ebola, and will soon begin providing psychosocial help to patients and their families.
Ebola is a haemorrhagic fever with no specific treatment or vaccine, and with a mortality rate that ranges from 25% to over 80% depending on the strain of the disease.
In late-July, an unrelated outbreak of a different strain of Ebola was declared in western Uganda. Médecins Sans Frontières’ emergency response, working with the Ugandan Ministry of Health was successful. No new confirmed cases have been detected since August 4.