Picture taken by World Health Organization at Democratic Republic of Congo where Ebola virus patients are being examined.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced last Tuesday that ten were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to massive outbreak of Ebola virus.

Ebola virus cause hemorrhagic fevers —an illness marked by severe bleeding (hemorrhage), organ failure and, in many cases, death. Ebola virus is native to Africa, where sporadic outbreaks have occurred for decades.

Ebola virus live in animal hosts, and humans can contract the viruses from infected animals. After the initial transmission, the viruses can spread from person to person through contact with body fluids or contaminated needles.

No drug has been approved to treat Ebola virus. People diagnosed with Ebola virus receive supportive care and treatment for complications. Scientists are coming closer to developing vaccines for these deadly diseases.

Two were already confirmed by WHO to be Ebola virus and 13 were probable cause of Ebola virus. In the area of Isiro, a town in Congo’s north, 12 cases and 8 deaths occurred; the victims included 3 health care workers. One death each occurred in Congo’s Pawa and Dungu regions.

Since the beginning of July, there were 24 probable and confirmed cases of Ebola virus and 16 confirmed deaths because of the virus at Congo’s Orientale province borders of western Uganda.

Gregory Hartl, spokesperson of WHO, stated that it is extremely difficult to travel to Isiro and Kabale where Ebola outbreak emerged.  This is because of the impassable roads, the only possible way to reach their destination is by using motorbikes to a 10 to 15 km travel per hour in a rough road. Health care workers and different Health agencies have embarked on different kinds of approaches to deal with the case.

Because of this, WHO asked other countries bordering Uganda and other neighboring countries as well to “enhance surveillance” of the virus. 

The virus is fatal in 50-90 percent of cases. In most severe infections, victims bleed from bodily orifices before dying. There is no treatment and no vaccine for Ebola, which is transmitted by close personal contact. Congo’s last major Ebola epidemic in 1995 killed 245 people. Recent Ebola outbreaks were recorded in Uganda, when 37 people were killed in the western part of the country in 2007, and when at least 170 died in the nation’s northern region in 2000.

In 1976, Ebola virus was first detected in Congo. Symptoms can include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, a measles-like rash, red eyes and, at times, bleeding from body openings.