Ebola fever is on the rise in the Congo

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Spread of life-threatening Ebola fever in the Congo

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of a further spread of the Ebola disease in the Congo. As of September 12, 41 cases of Ebola had been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 of which were fatal, the WHO reports. Another 28 suspected cases are currently being investigated.

Ebola is a life-threatening illness that results in patient death in up to 90 percent of cases. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted from person to person. The only reason that only locally limited outbreaks have been recorded so far is the high death rate. Affected people die too quickly to infect more people. However, any Ebola outbreak poses a significant risk to the local population and medical personnel. According to the WHO, 18 people from health facilities in the Congo have also been infected with the pathogens.

46 people suffering from Ebola fever To combat the Ebola outbreak in the Congo, “a national task force with several partners, including WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Federation of the Red Cross, has been set up and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), ”reports the WHO. By the weekend, the number of reported illnesses had increased by five more cases to 46. In 14 patients, the finding was confirmed in the meantime by laboratory diagnostics, with the 32 remaining reports suggesting an Ebola infection, the World Health Organization said. 18 patients have already died of the consequences of Ebola, 28 further suspected cases are being investigated. According to the WHO, the outbreak is concentrated in the Haut-Uélé district in the province of Orientale.

Symptoms of an Ebola infection Infection with the Ebola virus causes so-called Ebola fever in humans. After a maximum of three weeks of incubation, those affected develop flu-like symptoms, which are followed by a so-called hemorrhagic fever. This is characterized by high fever, internal bleeding, impaired liver and kidney function, bloody diarrhea, convulsions, shock and circulatory breakdowns. Nausea with vomiting is also a typical accompanying symptom. It is not uncommon for those affected to bleed from all body openings. A cure is not yet possible. Comprehensive medical care can only alleviate the symptoms. Since the Ebola virus can be spread to other people via smear infections (via body fluids) and the patients secrete a lot of body fluids in the form of blood, vomit, diarrhea and urine, the risk of infection is particularly high on contact.

Epidemic outbreaks in Africa In Central Africa, the population is currently threatened by various epidemic outbreaks. While Ebola recently claimed 16 lives in the Congo and is now raging in the Congo, numerous Central African countries are currently struggling with the spread of cholera. The WHO recently reported about 55,000 cholera infections in West and Central Africa. The epidemic has already claimed numerous lives in countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, the Congo, Niger and Nigeria, and thousands more are expected. International relief organizations such as UNICEF, Oxfam, the British Red Cross, Save the Children, Care and the WHO are also fighting locally against the spread of the epidemic. (fp)

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Credit: Dr. Karl Herrmann / pixelio.de

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