Dakar, Senegal – The deadly outbreak of Congo in the east of Congo marked Friday six months, and officials noted a worrisome number of confirmed cases linked to health centers.
These infections are considered an important problem that emphasizes poor practices and the risk of spread among patients and workers. Combined with the resistance of the community in an unstable and densely populated region that has never been confronted with Ebola, the task of containing the outbreak is still challenging.
In the current epicenter, the communities of Butembo and Katwa, 86 percent of Ebola cases as of December 1 "had visited or worked in a healthcare center before or after the Its the beginning of the disease, "said the World Health Organization.
During the last three weeks in Katwa, 49 "health structures" were identified where the confirmed cases were hospitalized and eight new infected health workers were reported, said WHO.
With 759 cases of Ebola, including 705 confirmed and 414 confirmed deaths, this has become the second outbreak in the history of the horse, behind the outbreak of West Africa that killed more than 11,000 in 2014-2016.
No end is in sight.
"This is a particularly complex area with so much insecurity," Dr. Associated Press told The Associated Press. Ibrahima Soce Fall, WHO Regional Emergency Director. "We have been able to control many points of interest, but it will take some time to end the outbreak."
Katwa is the last community to present officials with a population that cares about outsiders after the rebel attacks in the region.
"They do not trust the authorities of the Congo because they have been exposed to insecurity and conflict for more than 20 years," said Fall. "You can not control this type of outbreak without the community being involved in rapid detection." Well, an early epicenter, it took months before some communities had confidence, he said.
Often, many people choose to go to traditional health centers instead of hospitals.
"Many people have been infected at these facilities. If you have malaria, you can be in the same place as someone with the disease," said Fall. "They do not have doctors here, and the people who work are not qualified."
Many of the initial symptoms of Ebola, including fever and muscle pain, are similar to those of malaria and other common diseases in the region.
Katwa is also worried that 80% of cases of Ebola have not been traceable to known contacts from other infected people. This means that officials can not exactly track the site where the virus is spreading and who is at greatest risk, said Laurence Sailly, head of the Congo mission for Doctors Without Borders.
This rate is lower in communities that had cases at the beginning of the outbreak, which reflect the progress of health workers.
Whenever Ebola emerges in a new community, health workers must start from scratch to explain the disease. Some involve rebel groups to access to vaccinations and draw contacts from the infected.
Many Congolese continue to be worried.
"I am afraid of Ebola and I think the epidemic is very far away," said Manoa Lebabo, a 20-year-old Beni.
The writers of the associated press Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro in Beni, Congo and Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed.
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