BREAKING NEWS Names released in double fatal wrong-way crash Full Story

Congo's Ebola outbreak still spreading, with possible signs of hope

The ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo is at "a key juncture," the ...

Posted: Sep 1, 2018 6:25 AM
Updated: Sep 1, 2018 6:25 AM

The ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo is at "a key juncture," the World Health Organization said Friday.

Since the outbreak was declared August 1, 116 people have been infected, including 77 deaths. As of Wednesday, 86 of the cases were confirmed by lab results, and 30 were probable.

Africa

Central Africa

Continents and regions

Democratic Republic of Congo

Diseases and disorders

Ebola

Epidemics and outbreaks

Health and medical

Infectious diseases

Non-profit and NGO organizations

Public health

World Health Organization

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Health care

Health care professionals

Medical staff

Cases of Ebola are being reported in five health zones in North Kivu province and one health zone in Ituri, both in the northeastern part of the country. This area borders Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, where security concerns and an ongoing humanitarian crisis factor into the ability to contain the outbreak.

However, control measures seem to be working, WHO said.

Patients are getting to treatment centers quickly, and most are getting help within an hour of diagnosis. With this highly infectious disease transmitted from person to person through bodily fluids like saliva, blood, breast milk and feces, patient care is key to reducing the infection rate.

Health care workers have been following up immediately with people who may have come into contact with Ebola patients, to make sure they are not infected, WHO said. Ring vaccination efforts have also been quickly scaled up, reaching people who may have come into contact with those patients.

That's the good news, but there are still new cases and concerns among health workers over containing the virus.

"The outbreak trend must be interpreted with caution," WHO said.

Over the past week, 13 additional confirmed or probable cases were reported, mostly in the city of Beni. WHO is concerned that those numbers could grow, as people are still involved in "risky behavior" that could spread Ebola. There are still unsafe burial practices, a reluctance to communicate with health care workers trying to trace the disease, and a resistance to seeking help from health care workers, in addition to general problems with infection prevention and control.

Also a concern: The number of health care workers infected is now 15, including one death. WHO believes that these infected workers were probably exposed to Ebola in health facilities that are not specifically set up as treatment centers.

This is the 10th Ebola outbreak in Congo, where the virus is endemic, since it was discovered in 1976.

WHO is working with local health care workers on disease control, and together, they are raising awareness about how to handle patients with Ebola and vaccinate people who are most at risk.

On Monday, WHO reported that two of the first 16 people who got an experimental treatment for Ebola during this outbreak have recovered. Five experimental Ebola therapies have been approved to treat those who are sick.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
11° wxIcon
Hi: 12° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: -4°
Albert Lea
Clear
10° wxIcon
Hi: 7° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: -2°
Austin
Clear
12° wxIcon
Hi: 10° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 2°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
14° wxIcon
Hi: 15° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: 0°
Rochester
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 5° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: -6°
A bit of snow Thursday and Friday morning
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

LEGO CHALLENGE

Image

Luft legacy continues on the mat

Image

SAW: Greta Freed from John Marshall

Image

One person dead after shooting

Image

Lego competition teaches fun in robotics

Image

Names released in double fatal I-35 crash

Image

Historic Covered Bridge reopens

Image

School Cracks Down on Youth Vaping

Image

HUGE Toys for Tots Donation

Image

Ambulance Service Volunteers Needed

Community Events