The Democratic Republic of the Congo is again struck by the Ebola virus. This time, the epidemic broke out in the health zone of Likati, in the province of Bas-Uélé in the north of the country, not far from the Central African Republic.
Since 22 April 2017, nine suspect cases have been reported. Three people died. ” Samples were taken and the institute confirmed a sample that was positive for the Ebola virus ,” said Dr Allarangar Yokouide, representative of the World Health Organization in the DRC.
The challenge now is to act very quickly, given the speed of virus contamination . Problem, the affected area is difficult to access, but medical staff are already on site, Dr. Allarangar Yokouidé assures:
” An investigation team is on the ground, but other teams will join it this Saturday at the latest, with epidemiologist doctors, but also clinicians who must ensure the care, ” he assures. There are also people who must ensure social mobilization and community participation, since it is a disease for which it is absolutely necessary to involve the population in order to be able to control it. ”
On the spot, the Congolese medical services have acquired expertise over time. Because since 1976, when the virus was discovered for the first time in the DRC, it is the eighth epidemic that the country faces, recalls Dr. Allarangar Yokouidé. Following these different epidemics, ” there are executives from this country who have acquired some experience. And we believe that these experiences will be used to be able to control very quickly the current situation , “he said.
For the WHO representative, the fact that the DRC is so often exposed to the Ebola virus can be explained by several factors: ” The ecology of the Democratic Republic of the Congo lends itself to this. Primates are the carriers of this virus. In this ecosystem, the virus is therefore circulating and this is how it happens that people get infected, for example by going to the bush, eating dead monkeys because of Ebola .
In addition, the Minister of Public Health of the DRC sent a letter to the representative of the World Health Organization requesting his support to strengthen the response. He also urged the Congolese population not to panic, noting that no cases of Ebola have been reported either in Kinshasa, Kisangani or elsewhere in the DRC with the exception of Nambwa, at 45 Kilometers from Likati.