As DR Congo’s Ebola Death Toll Hits 35, a Look at Wildfire Spread of Deadly Virus

Thursday, September 11, 2014
By Paul Martin

by Frances Martel
11 Sep 2014

As West Africa teeters on the brink of disaster, the Ebola outbreak threatening to destabilize a region has begun to threaten other parts of the country. The World Health Organization announced today that an unrelated Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 35 people since it began, out of more than 60 diagnosed with the disease.

PBS notes the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to the first known Ebola outbreak, recently began fighting a battle of its own against the virus. The outbreak in that nation is unrelated to the one occurring in West Africa, whose Patient Zero is believed to be a child from rural Guinea. Much like the situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, however, a rapid spread of Ebola could strongly challenge the resilience of Congo’s medical infrastructure.

The news that Congo might be facing a struggle as difficult as that in West Africa follows reports that incidents elsewhere in Africa could be surfacing. In Nigeria, a South African woman is being tested for the disease after landing in Lagos, the same airport from which Nigeria’s first Ebola patient, Patrick Sawyer, arrived from Liberia. The woman is said to have spent time in Guinea and Liberia before flying from Morocco to Lagos; test results for her have not yet arrived, but she is being kept in isolation. Unlike other suspected cases, the South African woman admitted to suffering from both diarrhea and vomiting, both Ebola symptoms.

Further distribution across the African continent could prove devastating to many of its nations, but public health officials warn that, with the current level of effort the international community is putting into helping impoverished west African countries, there is little hope to contain the threat. The World Health Organization has warned that the outbreak has exhibited an “exponential increase” within the past 21 days, and it is believed that more than 350 mutations of the virus are currently circulating through the region.

The Rest…HERE

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