Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo

Whenever there is an outbreak of an Ebola virus, it poses a big problem for the infected population. It is spread by body fluids and various forms of human contact, and can cause severe internal bleeding which often leads to death. What makes it even more dangerous is the fact that there is no cure, despite promising attempts to create one. A few weeks ago, the Ebola virus wreaked havoc in the African country Uganda, killing at least 16 people. Now, the World Health Organisation has confirmed the virus has also been found in Congo, where the death toll has already reached 10.

Task Force
Several organisations, including the WHO, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and the CDC have joined forces in order to tackle the epidemic roaming through Congo. So far, the doctors have confirmed another two cases of Ebola disease, while 13 more are currently suspected. Most of the deaths so far reported were in the area of Isiro, in the north of Congo. Among the deaths are three healthcare workers.

Outbreak
The outbreak of Ebola to Congo is bad news. As said, Uganda already suffered from an outbreak, and it is of paramount importance to keep the virus under control. The task force is to make sure that the spread is halted, as there is little that can be done once someone becomes infected. However, officials say it would be near impossible that the virus has spread from Uganda to Congo, as the route by which it would have to travel would be very long and hard, rendering it unlikely that infected Ugandan citizens brought the virus across the border.
Picture taken with an electron microscope of an Ebola virus.

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