The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may be on the verge of witnessing another outbreak of Ebola after a woman died last week. The World Health Organization (WHO) has shown grave concerns over a potential outbreak in the country after her death. A special response team of WHO has traced at least 70 people who were in contact with the infected woman.
There can be a possibility of more cases. The response team has visited Biena, the region where the case was reported. The woman was found to have symptoms of Ebola in the eastern city of Butembo on February 1, 2021. She was being treated at a local health center, where she succumbed to the disease and died two days later. The woman’s husband had survived the deadly disease earlier.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has witnessed several outbreaks of Ebola since 1976, 11 to be precise. The last one occurred in 2018 and lasted for almost two years – accounting for 2200 deaths. Butembo city was the epicenter of the outbreak in 2018.
The health experts have claimed that there are still random cases being reported. But to determine whether this is the beginning of another outbreak, the response team must identify the 70 people who were in contact with the woman and test them to be sure.
The health minister of the country, Eteni Longondo has directed the concerned officials to trace down everyone in contact with the woman to “eradicate the epidemic as soon as possible”. The 2018 outbreak was the second deadliest epidemic recorded in the world. At that time, the country was already facing many other issues on both internal and international fronts.
The health experts are really worried about the Ebola outbreak because this can drastically affect the already torn and fragile health system of the country.