Ebola in DR Congo

This item appears on page 18 of the July 2019 issue.

An outbreak of ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ongoing since September 2018, was continuing unabated at press time, at which point there had been 1,738 confirmed cases of ebola in the DRC, resulting in 1,130 confirmed deaths. It was considered probable that another 88 deaths in the region were also the result of ebola infections.

In this outbreak, ebola infections have occurred primarily in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces, which averaged about 100 new cases each week in April and May. The World Health Organization is currently trialing an experimental ebola vaccine in the region, and it has shown some success in preventing the disease.

Symptoms of ebola include high fevers, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea and, in extreme cases, internal and external hemorrhaging. The virus is spread via bodily fluids only after symptoms begin.