Ebola: A new virus detected in Congo
After coronavirus, a new virus has been found. Five people, including a 15-year-old girl, have died due to Ebola in a fresh outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as said by the United Nations Children’s Fund on Monday. A total of nine cases have been reported, UNICEF said.
Although UNICEF also informed that four more people who contracted to the virus were the ones who came in contact with the deceased, including the child of one of the fatal cases. They all are being treated in the isolation unit at the Wangata Hospital in Mbandaka. As the deaths have occurred between the 18th and 30th of May but they were only confirmed as the Ebola-related death yesterday.
On Monday, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeded the news which says that six cases have been reported as of now in Mbandaka, in the northwest Equator province of the country. It’s the country’s 11th outbreak of the potentially deadly virus, which is passed by bodily fluids and has a fatality rate of anywhere between 25% and 90%, depending on the outbreak.
Although, the Democratic Republic of Congo is still struggling to end an outbreak that started in 2018 in the eastern part of the country, in which 3,406 cases have been reported, with 2,243 deaths, according to WHO. There has not been a new case in the past 21 days in that outbreak. Because Ebola has an incubation period of 21 days, that suggests the outbreak may be under control but WHO waits for two full incubation periods, or 42 days, to be completely sure before determining that an outbreak has ended.
The Ebola virus lives in bats, and WHO says new outbreaks can be expected in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Until now, the largest epidemic of Ebola was in 2014-2016 in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. More than 28,000 people were infected in that epidemic and more than 11,000 of them died.