As health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo are struggling to contain an Ebola outbreak, a second person died from the virus, according to the World Health Organisation on Tuesday. Last week, the country declared a new outbreak of the disease after the death of a 31-year-old man, who was diagnosed with the disease in Mbandaka, in the DRC’s northwestern Equateur Province, after being sick for more than a week. Meanwhile, his sister-in-law, a 25-year-old woman, was the second victim and she died on April 25.
“This is very sad news, and we must continue to put all our effort into saving the lives of anyone else who may have contracted the virus. So far, at least 145 people have been listed as contacts,” Dr. Fiona Braka, the team lead for emergency responses at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, said in a statement to the media.
Meanwhile, WHO informed that the health officials are investigating the source of the current outbreak. Since 2018, there have been three outbreaks of Ebola in the Equateur Province, according to media reports.
According to the global health agency, the initial patient began experiencing symptoms on April 5 and sought treatment at a local health facility before being admitted to an Ebola treatment center on April 21 for intensive care. The health body confirmed that he died later that day.
Meanwhile, vaccines will be sent to Mbandaka and administered through the ‘ring vaccination strategy. In this strategy, the contacts and contacts of contacts are vaccinated to curb the spread of the virus. According to WHO, the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced 13 outbreaks of Ebola so far including one that began in 2018 and took nearly 2,300 lives.
A severe illness, Ebola, has fatality rates varying from 25 percent to 90 percent in the previous outbreaks. However, effective treatments are now available that can enhance survival chances.