Friday, 22 February, 2019

Ebola in Congo: Government warns on eating wild meat

Organization worker prepares to administer a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating Organization worker prepares to administer a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating
Gustavo Carr | 05 August, 2018, 19:16

Leaders in DR Congo on Tuesday confirmed 20 people had died from the haemorrhagic fever in and around Mangina, a densely populated town about 100km from the Uganda's Mpondwe border post in the Western district of Kasese.

Officials said it was not yet clear whether the two Congo outbreaks separated by more than 2,500 kilometres (1,553 miles) are linked.

"It would appear that the risk, as we can surmise for DRC, is high".

The outbreak on the western side of the country in June, infected dozens, and led to 33 deaths, but despite several cases appearing in a major city on the Congo River, it was fully contained after a massive global and national response.

Ebola is a virus-caused hemorrhagic fever that in extreme cases causes fatal bleeding from internal organs, the mouth, eyes or ears.

That is more than twice as many epidemics as any other country.

The response to this was considered a success despite the deaths, as the use of a vaccine made by Merck helped contain the virus.

The kind of Ebola in the latest outbreak has been confirmed as the Zaire strain that the Merck vaccine protects against, Congo's health ministry said late on Thursday.

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Still, this outbreak poses new challenges.

"I was hit with fear not only about whether my health would be attacked by Ebola, but also how I'm going to feed my family without our Mangina field because all the roads leading to Mangina have been quarantined by the health officials", he said.

Jasarevic says World Health Organization will work with these neighboring countries to try to prevent the virus from crossing over.

Dr. Salama explained how longstanding conflict in Eastern DRC - involving more than 100 armed groups in the Kivu area and elsewhere - created an additional level of difficulty in trying to contain the deadly disease.

Agents were deployed to warn people about the need for strict hygiene and the local radio station passed on messages about how to act, a local journalist said by phone.

The hospital was awaiting help from the Red Cross to bury the bodies properly, she said. The province shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda, with a lot of cross border movement due to brisk trade.

"We can't at this stage confirm whether they are all confirmed or probable Ebola cases", he added.