A Tale of Two Outbreaks: Why DRC Conquered Ebola
Two outbreaks, two entirely different outcomes. The World Health Organization has declared an outbreak of Ebola over in the Democratic Republic of Congo after just 66 cases and 49 deaths. It lasted three months.
Yet the epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea’s been going for nine months, with more than 15,000 cases, 5,000 deaths and no end in sight.
What’s the difference? Experts say experience matters — it was the seventh outbreak in the former Zaire. But equally important is the fact that the village where it started was extremely remote, and the country has a rudimentary system of healthcare workers who know to look out for Ebola.
The latest outbreak started when a pregnant woman was preparing game her husband had brought home for the family in Ikanamongo, a village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).