The deadly virus is taking hold in the Congo, with fears that it could spread rapidly.
As of this writing, the latest news on the Ebola crisis in the Congo is that three patients with the virus have escaped quarantine and could be spreading the deadly illness to others, exposing dozens.
How do you get Ebola? Experts say it spreads through contact with an infected human’s bodily fluids. Outbreaks are thought to originate with the handling and consumption of infected raw meat from fruit bats, monkeys and apes.
Fear factors make things worse. In Africa, it’s not uncommon for the public to be skeptical of modern doctors. When they tell a person that the only way to treat a vomiting family member is by isolating them, and surrounding them with professionals dressed in what look like white storm trooper suits, trust can fall fast.
The patients who left quarantine in the Congo were under the care of Doctors Without Borders, (also known as MSF).
Doctors with MSF said that family members discharged 3 patients, two of whom were taken to a prayer meeting. One patient died outside the quarantined area and another was returned to the hospital, and died there. The third is said to still be alive, but that could change in the coming days.
How bad is the current situation? There have been 58 confirmed cases of Ebola in the Congo, and 27 deaths as of last Tuesday. Thankfully, there is an Ebola vaccine and it’s being deployed to the Congo. Hopefully it’s still effective.
In 2014, Ebola hit West Africa and spread globally. Over 11,320 people died from it, and it spread throughout 5 African countries including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali and Nigeria with 1 death in the United States linked to the illness.
Cases also traveled to Italy, Spain and the UK, without fatalities.
If the current outbreak in the Congo spreads to a major city in Africa, it’s believed the death toll will soon rise dramatically.
Symptoms of Ebola are similar to the common stomach flu. They include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, weakness and stomach pain.
Patients die from Ebola through extreme dehydration caused by uncontrollable diarrhea and vomiting, and hemorrhagic fever in the final phases. Basically, this causes unstoppable internal and external bleeding throughout your body.
When caught at the right time, Ebola can be treated and survival is possible.