News Headlines Article

Why Does Ebola Keep Showing Up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
Scientific American

Editor’s Note (8/6/18): Although the country’s ninth Ebola outbreak was ultimately contained, a week after that outbreak was declared over evidence of a new Ebola emergency was reported elsewhere in the country. As of August 3, 2018, there were a total of 43 reported Ebola virus cases in the nation, including 33 deaths. An additional 33 cases are also suspected, pending laboratory confirmation. The affected area of the country, located along its borders with Rwanda and Uganda, is also the site of frequent cross-border movement and a prolonged humanitarian crisis. Those realities are expected to severely hinder the response to this outbreak.

When news broke this week that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing yet another Ebola outbreak, many public health experts were not surprised. The vast central African country has dealt with more outbreaks of this often-fatal hemorrhagic disease than any other nation. Yet exactly why the DRC is hit so often remains an unanswered question.

The DRC Ministry of Health announced the latest outbreak this week after laboratory testing confirmed two cases had occurred in the northwestern part of the country, near the its border with the similarly named Republic of the Congo. This is DRC’s ninth Ebola outbreak since scientists first identified the disease.