Ebola Outbreak Spreads In Congo And The Death Count Is Rising

Grace Carr | Reporter

Ebola has spread to a major city in Congo, and the death toll is rising rapidly.

Congo officials have reported 23 are dead and that there are 42 confirmed cases of the deadly virus. First discovered close to Congo’s Ebola River in 1976, Ebola is a deadly virus that spreads by direct contact with bodily fluid. It can spread to healthy persons from those who are infected or those who have died from the virus, according to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). Scientists believe the virus originated in bats.

Following reports that the virus had exited in rural areas and moved to an urban area, the World Health Organization (WHO) sent a massive supply of an experimental drug that has been shown effective at ridding victims of the virus. WHO sent roughly 4,000 doses of the vaccine to the northwest region of the Congo where the Ebola outbreak originated, indicating it will continuing sending medicine as needed.

Nurses and health workers treating infected persons and disposing of the dead will receive the doses first.

“The most important thing is to stop the spread of the disease, and to that end, what they have to do is track down everybody — people who have contracted Ebola or even died from Ebola,” CBS News foreign correspondent Debora Patta said, according to the news division.

The Ebola virus first emerged in West Africa in March 2014, killing thousands. Guinea endured an outbreak in 2015 that killed over 11,300 people.

Ebola has also been found in the U.S., U.K., Norway, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands and Italy, according to BBC News.

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