The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Health Minister has declared that the six Congolese hunters that presented symptoms consistent with Ebola have tested negative for the virus.
However the fact that the World Heath Organization and the Congolese authorities reacted so fast is proof that the “scare” could be beneficial in preventing a possible spread.
The hunters experienced Ebola-like symptoms after eating the meat that came from a antelope that they had shot. While they did not test positive for the virus, 4 of the hunters did die from causes that have not yet been reported.
The hunters were tested in a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government. Before last year’s terrible outbreak, that killed tens of thousands of people in Africa and spread to several other continents, global efforts were not focused on the disease.
Before 2014 the virus was mostly confined to remote parts of Africa and therefore scientists and doctors did not consider Ebola a priority, which might in itself have caused the massive outbreak. Now each possible case is treated not only as a local priority, but as a global one.
This “Ebola scare” might enable the complete eradication of the disease in the future and ridding the African population of this deadly threat. As better treatment plans and preventive measures are taken across Africa, the disease will dwell in numbers until it will reach a lower level than before 2014.
The first cases of Ebola were registered in 1976, in what we currently call the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nowadays, the disease is still ravaging the Western part of Africa. The July 2015 report conducted by the World Health Organization states that around 20 new cases have been discovered every week for 5 consecutive weeks until the 28th of June.
However, there has been a massive decrease from the hundreds per week discovered back when the epidemic peaked in 2014. Most cases have been prevented through the spread of information on how to prevent contact with the disease and how to recognize it’s symptoms.
The fact that the DR Congo’s Heath Minister, Felix Kabange, was so keen to point out that there is no Ebola epidemic spreading to Congo effectively proves that the government has increased the interest and resources put into prevention and diagnosis, due to the exacerbated fear of the disease.
As the disease will probably continue to spread in much less than before, it is to be expected that the Central and Western African Governments will keep a watchful eye on the number of cases reported and their location.
Image Source: un.org