(Last Updated On: May 15, 2017)


By Gbenga Gbelee

Two more cases of Ebola have been reported in the Democratic Republic of

Congo increasing the suspected cases to 19.

This number includes three deaths and two laboratory confirmed cases.

The first case was recorded last Friday in the Bas-Uele province in the north-

east of Congo.

Health officials say the outbreak is limited to the remote area and does not call

for any travel restrictions at the moment.

The first recorded death from the Ebola outbreak in the DRC came after one

person who died of haemorrhagic fever tested positive to the virus alongside

two others who have also died from the disease.

The World Health Organisation’s representative in Congo, Dr Allarangar

Yokouide, said the first team of specialists had arrive the affected area of Likati

on Saturday which is some 1,300km from the capital, Kinshasa.

The WHO spokesman, Christian Lindmeier, confirmed the deaths explaining

that out of the nineteen cases recorded, three people have since died, including

one who tested positive for Ebola.

He stressed the need for serious actions to be taken to stem the tide from

blowing out of proportion.

Mr. Lindmeier said it’s very important to find all the possible contacts of people

who have been infected, who have been in contact, and see whether there is a

possible continuation of infection and limit it as much as possible.

The Central African country has suffered seven previous outbreaks of Ebola

since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.

It would be recalled that Nigeria had its share of the deadly scourge in 2014

when a Liberian, Mr. Patrick Sawyer boarded a flight to Lagos and became

noticeably ill while on air transit.

His case sparked alarm across the globe because he was able to board an

international flight while carrying the incurable disease – potentially infecting

other passengers who could fly across the world in a nightmare scenario for

health experts.

It took the sharp-eyed diagnosis of Dr. Stella Adadevoh that identified Nigeria’s

first case of the virus – a 40-year- old civil servant called Patrick Sawyer, who

flew in to Lagos from Ebola-devastated Liberia in July,2014 and collapsed at

the airport.

It was Dr Adadevoh, 57, who first suspected he was lying – and, crucially, then

stood her ground when he began screaming to be let out of hospital and

threatening staff. At one point, he had to be physically restrained after pulling

out his medical drips and splashing blood around his room.

Her courage had a high price. On August 19, 2014 nearly a month after Mr

Sawyer’s death, she too died – one of eight people he passed the virus on to

directly. Were it not for her quick thinking, however, the Ebola outbreak would

almost certainly be far worse than it was.

Nigeria, with 170 million people, has nearly 10 times the population of the other

infected nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. And Lagos, a chaotic

megacity of 17 million people, would have been a perfect petri dish for the virus

to start spreading in.

Had Mr Sawyer been allowed to leave his hospital room to boarded a flight to a

business conference in another Nigerian city, as he had intended, the

consequences would have been grievous.