Researchers are currently working on a vaccine for Ebola. Then, last April, a man with a nosebleed, vomiting, fever and bloody stools arrived at a clinic in the northern province of Bas-Uele in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He would later die.
Several days later, several other people began getting sick exhibiting similar symptoms. The pattern started to erupt like a scene in the movie Contagion. Now six people in the hospital, three people have died, and the Democratic Republic of Congo says at least five people have been tested positive for Ebola.
According to the government and World Health Organization, officials are traveling to the remote area of Bas-Uele to further investigate the disease.
“An investigation team led by the Ministry of Health and supported by WHO and partners has deployed and is expected to reach the affected area in the coming days”, says Dr Peter Salama, WHO Executive Director for Emergencies.
Researchers argue that in order to prevent the spread of the deadly virus they must track down, test, and isolate suspected cases. Moreover, there will also need to protect health workers and educate the population about ways to prevent getting the deadly virus.
Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014
In 2014, the worst outbreak of Ebola killed nearly 12,000 people in West Africa. It would be the largest outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976. The virus is spread among countries in Guinea to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Currently, according to the World Health Organization, it is believed that the virus can spread through fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family as this family of animals hosts the Ebola virus.
How does Ebola spread to humans?
Ebola spreads to humans through close contact with bodily fluids of infected animals such as blood, secretions, and organs. The World Health Organization claims fruit bats, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, porcupines and antelopes that are found sick or dead in the forest can spread the virus from animals to humans. From that point on, the Ebola then spreads from humans other humans through direct contacts with an individual’s infected blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids including contaminated clothing.
Healthcare workers are also frequently infected with the disease while trading patients who are suspected of having the disease.