3-year-old boy dies of Ebola in Congo

North Kivu also had a major Ebola outbreak in 2018 ©  REUTERS

A three-year-old child has died of Ebola in Congo. The boy died in a hospital in North Kivu province, months after the disease appeared to have disappeared from the country. About a hundred contacts of the child are traced and checked.

Kim ClemensSource: BELGA, Reuters

The child was admitted to hospital with symptoms in the city of Beni. He tested positive for Ebola and died on Wednesday, health minister Jean Jacques Mbungani said. Three of the boy’s neighbors are also said to have died in the past month with similar symptoms, but they were not tested. Local teams are now tracing about a hundred contacts of the child, in order to check and vaccinate them as well.

Beni was also one of the epicenters of the major Ebola outbreak of 2018 – 2020. 2,200 people were killed. There was a minor flare-up at the beginning of this year, with 12 cases reported, six deaths and hundreds of people vaccinated. In May, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared that the disease had disappeared. The end of the country’s 12th Ebola outbreak, it then heralded.

The disease has appeared occasionally in Africa since its discovery in 1976. People can contract the virus by eating infected animals. People spread Ebola among themselves through direct contact with blood, faeces, urine, semen, vomit and sweat. Symptoms include fever, bleeding and headache.

About half of Ebola patients die. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), that is even nine in ten if they do not have access to a hospital or doctor.

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