JUN 29, 2019 7:27 AM PDT

Rumors Disrupt Efforts To Control Ebola Outbreak

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), there is some doubt that Ebola is a real disease. Locals sometimes claim the illness was “brought in by white people” as was stated by Florida Kayindo, a 36-year-old who eventually contract and the sickness herself. Even now, after having survived infection, she still questions her understanding of the disease. Many believe the virus is spread through food or water, but scientists know the illness is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of infected persons or bats. 

Now, during the second largest Ebola outbreak in history, misinformation is the main contributor to difficulties in containment. Skepticism from locals about the nature of the disease creates tension between the Congolese and health workers, whose containment efforts put them at risk. Some believe their own government is spreading the virus for political gain. Others believe that international aid organizations are to blame, killing people deliberately in treatment centers.

The distrust of relief organizations makes it incredibly difficult to slow the use of traditional burial methods. These burials often require complete removal of waste products from the body, often done by hand. Because the virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids of the infected, these traditions are infection Ground Zero for many Congolese families. 

The fight against Ebola in the DRC is dangerous work. Dozens of people have been killed in more than 130 attacks on Ebola response facilities. While attacks on healthcare facilities involved in the fight against the disease continue, relief workers are attempting to build trust amongst the locals. One way they have attempted this was by switching to clear body bags. This allows families of the dead a more agreeable opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones. It also helps dispel the myth that the organs of Ebola patients are being harvested. 

Traditional healers, who are more trusted in Congress culture, are also being brought into the response. Although some of them believe they can heal Ebola through traditional methods, others are helping to identify new cases so they may be contained as soon as possible. Additionally, as frontline workers in the oval response, these healers become eligible for vaccinations related to the disease. 

 

Sources: Emergency Response Coordination CentreThe Daily Conversation

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
APR 23, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 23, 2020
Study Shows Filtered Coffee is Best for Your Health
Are you drinking more coffee than usual during the COVID-19 lockdown? Navigating weeks of working from home or onsite, a ...
APR 25, 2020
Cardiology
APR 25, 2020
Young People with COVID-19 Die from Stroke
Hospitals around the US have reported that people aged between 20 and 50 with no risk factors are dying from strokes aft ...
APR 29, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
APR 29, 2020
Move and Detect : Diagnosis of Neonatal Sepsis Using Fluorescent Micromotors
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sepsis occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures i ...
MAY 11, 2020
Cardiology
MAY 11, 2020
Urbanization and Cardiometabolic Risk
A recent study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) was first to analyze the possible connection betw ...
MAY 25, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAY 25, 2020
Hydrochloroquine Increases Risk of Death by COVID-19
Researchers have found that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for COVID-19. Their study found that it lea ...
MAY 17, 2020
Technology
MAY 17, 2020
How Real is Video Game Addiction?
How real is video game addiction? We often hear of the negative implications for long-term video game use but is it fair ...
Loading Comments...