The dreaded Ebola virus is back. Its re-emergence was reported by The World Health Organisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 12, following the death of three people. The situation, however, appears to be under control – for the moment, at least.
WHO says it was alerted to a “cluster of undiagnosed illnesses” bearing the typical hemorrhagic symptoms associated with Ebola. This was in the southern border town of Likati near the Central African Republic. So far there are no noticeable signs of panic, despite the fact that there’ve been some fatalities.
WHO has not linked this outbreak to the West African one in 2014 that saw more than 11,300 deaths occur in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. At the time hospitals were so inadequately prepared that people died on the streets as the world watched with horror.
The government’s response this time has been impressively quick, with doctors being dispatched to the region to determine the extent of infection. The good news is that out of five samples tested in Labs in DRC’s capital Kinshasa, only one came out positive for the deadly virus. Nevertheless, the authorities aren’t taking any chances, with WHO having officially declared this outbreak.
DRC has been associated with Ebola since the mid-70s, and this is the eighth time an outbreak has been reported in the country. DRC was noted for its quick response in 2014 when it managed to contain the disease, resulting in only 49 people dying compared to the thousands of fatalities recorded in West Africa.