On Friday, the World Health Organization said that the current outbreak of Ebola in Congo is a cause of concern. However, it hasn’t reached the needed threshold to be a global threat.
This was the 3rd the committee of this organization gathered to discuss the current outbreak. Also, it was the 3rd time its experts rejected to declare a health emergency on a global scale.
This week, a 50-year-old woman and her 5-year-old grandson died of Ebola after traveling to Uganda from Congo. Health officials in Uganda announced that 98 other people might have been exposed to this virus.
Till now, it is estimated that more than 2,100 confirmed or suspected cases were determined in Congo. According to the WHO, 1,100 deaths were reported. This is the 10th outbreak of Ebola in this country over the last 4 decades.
The virus causing Ebola can be spread via contact with bodily fluids such as blood. It would lead to major internal bleeding, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death. An outbreak usually begins with a “spillover event,” which means the virus is transmitted to a human from a monkey or fruit bat. After that, the virus would spread from people to people.
Scientists say it requires an understanding of and respect for the local customs and culture to control the spread and outbreak of Ebola in remote areas.
The most recent time when the WHO announced a global Ebola threat was in the middle of 2014. At that time, the disease killed a lot of people in West Africa.
Between 2014 and 2016, the epidemic killed 11,000 out of 28,000 infected people. Most of the cases were reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. However, many cases were identified in other countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, and Italy.
Doctor Kent Brantly, the first diagnosed patient in the United States in that break, received his treatment in August 2014 in Atlanta. He had worked with a mission group to help people with Ebola in Liberia and contracted the virus. Fortunately, Brantly recovered later. There was a total of 10 Ebola cases in the US in 2014. Two people died.
Currently, there is no cure for treating Ebola disease. However, doctors can use supportive electrolytes and fluids to help people with this condition alleviate a few common side effects of diarrhea, vomiting, as well as high fever.