Ebola in the Congo is limited, but not defeated

In the northeastern Congo have died since the Ebola outbreak in front of about one and a half years, more than 2000 people to the Virus. Meanwhile, the number o

Ebola in the Congo is limited, but not defeated

In the northeastern Congo have died since the Ebola outbreak in front of about one and a half years, more than 2000 people to the Virus. Meanwhile, the number of new infections is decreasing - because there are finally two vaccines.

"In life you have to be patient," says Jean-Jacques Muyembe. Patient he is. Over 40 years the doctor has been looking for a drug to cure Ebola. The infectious disease caused by the Ebola Virus. The Infected suffer from fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and bleeding and eventually die of organ failure. The Ebola Virus was discovered in 1976, for the first Time in the North of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a local river is named. Even then, research Muyembe in a Team of the world health organization.

Since the eruption nearly one and a half years, more than 3000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are infected with Ebola and more than 2000 people died because of it. It is the second-largest outbreak after the severe epidemic that hit West Africa by the end of 2013. At that time, more than 11,000 people have died of the Virus disease.

approval for Ebola drug is

After more than 40 years of work has managed doctor Muyembe: He found a means that can be used to cure Ebola. The sooner the Infected are treated, the greater your chances of Survival. More than 250,000 people have been vaccinated since the beginning of August last year with a vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Merck.

a few days Ago, the company received from the U.S. food and drug administration approval for this Ebola vaccine will receive. The world health authority had used him, but under strict conditions in the Congo. "The vaccine has a great effect, nearly 97 percent of the cases are cured," explains Muyembe. The vaccine can cure Ebola, but is not a permanent protection.

The vaccine has already been used - as it is here in Goma, but he is not a permanent protection.

vaccination campaign with a second vaccine

To prevent an Ebola infection, will be used for a different vaccine, the US pharmaceutical group Johnson and Johnson produces. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo are to be vaccinated until March next year around 50,000 people. Also in the neighboring country of Rwanda, a vaccination campaign will take place in the border regions. Within a year, around 200,000 people will be vaccinated.

This second vaccine has been tested but never under real conditions. Muyembe, according to the mortality in Patients treated with both drugs, however, is significantly lower than in Patients who were not treated.

Less infections, but a problem area

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the homeland of Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the Situation has improved significantly. The number of new infections fell sharply. In many Parts of the country, the epidemic is under control. Still the grass, they are magnetized in the North-East. There are armed rebels have to Say. "The Problem is that Ebola has returned in regions that are totally insecure," says Michael Ryan of the world health organization.

Will disappear Ebola at some point completely? "No," said Muyembe. "Ebola will always be there." The direct contagion from person to person via contact with blood, saliva and other body fluids. Immune is only those who have had the disease before. The Transmission to humans is believed to be bats and flying foxes through contact with body fluids or eating of animals.

The fight against Ebola continues so. After all, is bordered by the vaccination, the spread of the epidemic in. Muyembe observed: "The number of cases is low, and the people no longer suffer so hard."

The democratic Republic of the Congo, the North Kivu province in the East of the country

Updated Date: 23 December 2019, 10:36

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