Home / Health / "Terrifying" Ebola outbreak in DRC torn apart by conflict is out of control, warn experts

"Terrifying" Ebola outbreak in DRC torn apart by conflict is out of control, warn experts



The current outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been described as "terrifying" by health experts, who warned that the virus was now out of control.

Dr. Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, who is actively involved in relief operations in the country, said that he thought the epidemic was "the worst in history" and warned that It would worsen.

Figures from the World Health Organization show that more than 1,600 people have been infected with the Ebola virus since the beginning of the epidemic, resulting in the death of more than 1,000 people.

"I am very worried – as worried as possible," said Dr. Farrar.

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A man displays an information leaflet on the Ebola virus for the residents of Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo.

A man displays an information leaflet on the Ebola virus for the residents of Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Health workers undertake the burial of an eleven-month-old child in Beni, North Kivu province, this month

Health workers undertake the burial of an eleven-month-old child in Beni, North Kivu province, this month

"Whether or not it reaches the absolute magnitude of West Africa, none of us know it, but that figure is huge in comparison to any other home in the world. Ebola story and it continues to grow. "

According to the Guardian, Dr. Farrar called for a ceasefire between rival warring factions to allow health teams to reach the sick in the DRC and protect other members of the community.

And he added that the UN needed to take swift action to prevent the virus from spreading.

"It is remarkable that it has not spread more geographically, but the numbers are scary and the fact that they go up is terrifying," he added.

This comes after an expert last week told MailOnline that the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo could prove as catastrophic as the 2014 epidemic in Africa. # 39; West.

Dr. Osman Dar, global health expert at Chatham House and a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Public Health England, warned that the situation was changing.

Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, killed at least 11,000 people worldwide after decimating West Africa and quickly spread between 2014 and 2016.

Since the beginning of the last Ebola epidemic, ten months ago, the vast majority of people killed are women and children.

Health worker sprays disinfectant on colleague after working at Ebola treatment center in Beni

Health worker sprays disinfectant on colleague after working at Ebola treatment center in Beni

The number of deaths would increase steadily and the mortality rate would be higher in this case than in previous disasters – more than 67% of those infected perished.

David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, called for a "restart" of the response to the crisis.

"The situation is far more dangerous than the statistics of the 1,000 deaths, itself the second-largest in history, suggest – and the suspension of essential services may create a deadly inflection point in the trajectory of the disease, "he said.

"The danger is that the number of cases will become uncontrollable despite a proven vaccine and treatment."

Relief operations were repeatedly hampered by fighting between local militias.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, said: "Cases increase due to violent acts that delay us every time".

According to Doctors Without Borders, there were 30 different incidents and attacks against elements of the response.

The medical assistance group temporarily suspended operations in two of its centers in Congo after incendiaries were set on fire.

Cars burned after attackers set fire to Ebola treatment center run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Katwa town, eastern Congo

Cars burned after attackers set fire to Ebola treatment center run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Katwa town, eastern Congo

Efforts to control the Ebola epidemic in Congo are hampered by a "toxic" security situation including a series of attacks against treatment centers. In the photo: An installation of Médecins Sans Frontières destroyed by a fire in February

Efforts to control the Ebola epidemic in Congo are hampered by a "toxic" security situation including a series of attacks against treatment centers. In the photo: An installation of Médecins Sans Frontières destroyed by a fire in February

Joanne Liu, President of Doctors Without Borders, said: "The existing atmosphere can only be described as toxic. This shows how the response did not listen to and take into account the needs of the most affected people. & # 39;

As a result, people are still reluctant to bring patients to treatment centers. According to the group, more than 40% of Ebola deaths still occur in communities rather than in treatment centers.

The use of security forces in the region also complicates efforts, said Ms. Liu.

"Using the police to force people to comply with health measures is not only unethical but also totally counterproductive," she said.

Congo has had periodic epidemics of the Ebola virus since its discovery in 1976, though its latest outbreak has become the second deadliest in world history.

Health care workers treating patients in the current epidemic have many more tools than in 2014-2016, when more than 11,000 people died of Ebola in Africa. ;Where is.

This time, more than 80,000 people were vaccinated against the disease.

WHAT IS EBOLA AND WHAT IS DEATH?

Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, killed at least 11,000 people worldwide after decimating West Africa and quickly spread over a two-year period.

This outbreak was officially declared over in January 2016, when the WHO announced that Liberia would be free of the Ebola virus.

The country, shaken by consecutive civil wars that ended in 2003, was the hardest hit by the fever, with 40% of deaths occurring in the country.

Sierra Leone has had the highest number of Ebola cases, with almost all infected people being residents of the country.

Where did he start?

An analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that the epidemic had begun in neighboring Guinea – Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A team of international researchers was able to trace the epidemic to Meliandou, a two-year-old boy about 650 km from the capital, Conakry.

Emile Ouamouno, more commonly known as Patient Zero, may have contracted the deadly virus by playing with bats in a hollow tree, a study suggested.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN STRUCK DOWN?

WHAT COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN SLAUGHTERED BY EBOLA DURING THE 2014-16 EPIDEMIC? (CDC figures)
COUNTRYCASESDEATHSMORTALITY RATE (%)
GUINEA3,8142,54466.7%
SIERRA LEONE14.1243,95628.0%
LIBERIA10,6784,81045.0%
NIGERIA20840.0%
SENEGAL10N / A
SPAIN10N / A
WE4125.0%
MALI8675.0%
United Kingdom10N / A
ITALY10N / A

The figures show that nearly 29,000 people have been infected with the Ebola virus, which means that the virus has killed about 40% of those infected.

Cases and deaths have also been reported in Nigeria, Mali and the United States – but on a much smaller scale, with 15 deaths in all three countries.

Guinean health officials reported a mysterious virus in the southeastern part of the country before the WHO confirmed that it was Ebola.

Scientists identified the Ebola virus in 1976, but the numbers show that the most recent epidemic has overshadowed all others.

How did the man contract the virus?

Scientists believe that Ebola is most commonly transmitted to humans by bats, but antelopes, porcupines, gorillas and chimpanzees could also be implicated.

It can be transmitted between humans through the blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of infected people – and surfaces -.

IS THERE A TREATMENT?

The WHO warns that there is "no proven treatment" for Ebola – but dozens of drugs and bites are being tested in the event of such a devastating epidemic.

There is hope, however, since an experimental vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV has protected nearly 6,000 people. The results were published in the newspaper The Lancet.


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