Containing An Ebola Outbreak in DRC

SOUTH SUDAN © Valérie Batselaere/MSF

MSF and other organizations are working to contain a deadly outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in northeastern DRC.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and other organizations are working to contain an Ebola outbreak in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that has killed 34 people so far, according to data from the Congolese Ministry of Health.

Since August, MSF’s medical teams have been working hard to provide patients and their relatives with care and psychosocial support.

Twelve new cases have been confirmed since September 11, and four patients are currently being cared for at a hospital in Isiro, the epicenter of the outbreak.

“Lots of people have died, but we have also seen six people discharged after surviving Ebola,” says Alfonso Verdú, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Isiro. However, with the most recent new case of Ebola reported on September 27, the intervention is still far from over.

MSF, the Congolese Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are responding to the outbreak together. At the same time, MSF is stepping up its health promotion activities so that the community is better informed about the virus.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever was detected for the first time in humans in 1976 in Zaire (now DRC). It is transmitted through bodily fluids and has a high mortality rate, which fluctuates from 30 to 90 percent depending on the strain of the virus and people’s genetic susceptibility to the disease. There is no known cure.