Congo declares Ebola outbreak and learns lessons for the fight against corona

The Democratic Republic of the Congo views the latest outbreak of Ebola in the country as well as over. The virus had surfaced in the western province of Equateur six months ago, shortly before another major outbreak of the deadly virus had been contained in the east of the country. Of the 130 confirmed cases, 55 people have died in Équateur.

The end of the latest outbreak of the virus was announced by health minister Logondo, who said no new infections have been recorded for 48 days. He called on the population to remain vigilant and to continue to observe all hygiene measures, also because it works in the fight against the corona virus.

According to him, the country has gotten Ebola under control this time because vaccines and treatments were available and treatment centers have been placed near outbreaks. As a result, about 40,000 people could be vaccinated, even in remote places deep in the rainforest.

Cooling technology for corona vaccines

Congo hopes to learn lessons for the fight against corona from the approach to this latest outbreak. The technology that kept the Ebola vaccines refrigerated to -80 degrees for days in places where there is no electricity, could also be used for a vaccination program against the corona virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The International Red Cross and the Red Crescent also say they use the lessons from the fight against Ebola against the corona virus. For example, just like against Ebola, volunteer teams are used that can be deployed quickly locally.

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Since Ebola was discovered on the Ebola River in Congo in 1976, the country has suffered eleven times from the highly contagious virus, which causes high fever, bleeding in the body and diarrhea. The outbreak that lasted from 2018 to 2020, the tenth, claimed 2,200 lives, making it the second deadliest. The country is now Ebola-free for the first time in 2.5 years.

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