Visits by Church leaders to Ebola-affected communities in Congo are helping prevention efforts, while the urban nature of the latest outbreak of the deadly virus is of greatest concern, the country’s bishops said.
Katherine Overcamp of Catholic Relief Services said Coadjutor Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa has been visiting and comforting the sick, including a priest.
The priest in Bikoro, a market town south of the northwestern provincial capital of Mbandaka, is “responding well to treatment,” Overcamp said in a 24th May telephone interview from Kinshasa, capital of Congo. She said the priest contracted Ebola while “taking care of someone who passed away.”
Ebola is a virus that causes hemorrhagic fever that spreads through contact with bodily fluids; it is highly infectious and extremely lethal. The virus can be fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases, depending on the strain.
“The disease and its extreme effects can terrify people, and we work hard to avoid panic through education,” Overcamp said.
Picture: A World Health Organisation worker administers a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating an outbreak of Ebola on 21st May in the port city of Mbandaka, Congo. (CNS photo/Kenny Katombe, Reuters).