Ebola Again Threatens Africa

Ebola was confirmed to have spread in the Congo, after several months earlier, it was also found in Guinea. This series of new cases in 2021 raises concerns regarding the possibility of the epidemic spreading again in Africa.

Ebola
Illustration. In 2021, several cases of Ebola are detected in Africa. (Epa-Ef/Ahmed Jallanzo)

ACTNews, KONGO – Three new Ebola cases have been confirmed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing the total to five in the last ten days, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday (10/18/2021). Health officials have said the latest flare-up of the virus appeared to be linked to the massive 2018-20 outbreak, which killed more than 2,200 people and infected more than 1,000 others.

The cases were detected on Saturday in the health district of Butsili, close to the city of Beni where the last outbreak was centered, the WHO said in a statement. Three people out of the five confirmed cases have died.

The 2014 outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa was the “largest, most severe and most complex Ebola epidemic” in history, according to the World Health Organization. More than 28,000 people were infected, and over 11,000 people died before the international public health emergency ended in June 2016.

According to WHO, the Ebola virus disease — formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever — is a rare and frequently deadly disease in humans caused by infection with one of four Ebola virus strains — Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo, or Tai Forest.

 

Symptoms of Ebola virus disease include high body temperatures, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and both internal and external bleeding, such as from gums and stool.

On 14 February 2021, an Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak was declared in the rural area of Gouéké in the N’Zerekore region, Guinea, by national health authorities. According to the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa and the Ministry of Health of Guinea, on 28 January 2021, a healthcare worker from Goueké Health Center died. Six people who attended his funeral on 1 February 2021 later began to show Ebola-like symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding). Two of these cases have since died, and the other four have been hospitalized.

This series of new Ebola cases has raised concerns from various circles regarding the possibility of the virus spreading on the black continent. Currently, Africa is still struggling to deal with the crisis caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on data from the WHO as of Monday (10/18/2021), Africa recorded 6.1 million positive cases of Covid-19.[]