The outbreak of Ebola in the DRC reaches 1,000 cases – the Democratic Republic of the Congo



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March 24, 2019 – Goma, DR Congo. A deadly ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, reported on August 1, 2018, reached 1,000 cases. This is the second worst eruption of ebola in history, following the outbreak of 2014 in West Africa, which killed 11,000 people.

"Unfortunately, the eruption of the Ebola DR Congo, which began in North Kivu and spread in Ituri, marked 1,000 cases, making it the most devastating outbreak of ebola in the history of the country," says Thomas Simon, director of the company in Medair, international non-governmental organization. who has worked in DRC for 22 years. "If transmission of the disease is not over soon, it could cause a breakdown of an already fragile health system."

Despite a seven-month active response and ongoing vaccination, efforts by the Ministry of Health, NGOs and health partners are hampering violence, mass migration due to conflicts, wrong community information, and fear. "A virus transmitted through body fluids when a person begins to experience symptoms is often confused with malaria or cholera due to similar symptoms, which makes people not worried until it is often too late," says Thomas. people believe that if they are relocated to an ebola center, they will never come out. The fact is that the centers are the only available source of assistance and the possible treatment of the disease, and that the survival rate of people taken is higher than the ebola outbreak in West Africa. We have new drugs that can help in the treatment of diseases, and patients need to come early and start treatment, "adds.

Anyone who comes in contact with a person infected with the virus should be monitored if symptoms occur; on average, this means 100 people. By carrying out preventive work for Ebolo together with Community Leaders and Collaborative Teams, Medair ensures that a dialogue is established and that messages regarding screening, vaccination and proper washing are clearly and culturally accepted.
Butembo and Katwa health zones in the province of North Kivu are now the main concern. Medair responds to an outbreak in several affected areas, including the Oita Transit Center, where humanitarian access remains a challenge. "Our teams are working tirelessly to help eliminate the spread of ebola. Among our activities, we equip health institutions and communities with appropriate water and sanitation structures and training in hygiene practices, which are essential steps to ensure that the ebola does not expand, "said James Ray, Medary Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Consultant.

For inquiries in the media
Pete Harrison, Communications Officer, Medair DR Congo (EN / FR):

· Comms-cod @ medair.orgcomms-cod @ medair.org

· +243 998 591 351

For regular updates, visit medair.org or our Twitter @MedairInt , @Medair_DRC et @MedairPress.

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