Two new cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) were reported in the Mbandaka health zone (Ecuador province) on Monday, July 13.
The total number of EVD cases reported in Ecuador province stands at 51 reported cases - 19 of which are in Mbandaka - including 48 confirmed and three probable. Furthermore, 20 deaths, including 17 confirmed and three probable, have been reported. 11 patients have healed, and six out of 18 health zones are affected.
Further spread of the disease is likely over the near term.
EVD is extremely virulent. The disease is transmitted to humans via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected animals. The disease can then be transmitted between humans and is highly contagious, particularly during the hemorrhagic phase. Ebola is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, weakness, joint and muscle pain, and headache. A sore throat is also a common early symptom. These symptoms are followed by nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, kidney and liver failure, and, in the later stages, internal and external hemorrhaging.
The latest EVD epidemic is the third to hit the DRC in the last two years, and the second in Mbandaka after a previous outbreak in 2018 that killed 33 people.
Individuals in Mbandaka are advised to monitor the situation and take measures to prevent the contraction and spread of EVD, including:
- Avoid contact with infected individuals and any items that have been in their close proximity.
- Avoid consuming bush meat and only handle animals when wearing gloves and appropriate protective wear.
- Animal products (e.g. meat and blood) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
- Adhere to a strict observance of hygienic precautions (e.g. wash hands regularly, etc.).
- Avoid crowded areas (e.g. stadiums, markets, train stations, etc.).
Individuals exhibiting the abovementioned symptoms and traveling in an area of active EVD transmission should seek immediate medical attention and comply with all directives issued by local health authorities.
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