Measles Surge in DRC, Surpassing Covid-19 Deaths

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Measles Surge in DRC, Surpassing Covid-19 Deaths” – below is their description.

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Covid- 19 deaths are being dwarfed by a far more infectious killer: measles. There have been more than 13,000 cases in the DRC since January 1st.

    “Between 2018 and 2020, the DRC has known an epidemic of measles without known or documented precedent,” says Médecins Sans Frontières operations coordinator Emmanuel Lampaert. “Between 2018 and 2020, over 450,000 cases and more than 8,000 children were killed by the measles virus. And all of this is happening in a country which is still battling in order to have a first dose measles vaccine coverage that is beyond what has been evaluated as around 60%. In order to have herd immunity we should go up to 85% and beyond. This unprecedented epidemic is unfortunately still continuing.”

    Lampaert says close to 200 children have been killed.

    “This is a huge country with enormous challenges in terms of deployment, logistic and security access. It’s the implementation where there are huge difficulties that are linked to the environment. And that’s why we need to stress over and over again that further and even increased mobilization for vaccine-preventable diseases is just a small effort with a huge impact and benefit.”

    Covid-19 is complicating the vaccine drive.

    “Currently in the DRC, close to 30,000 Covid cases have been confirmed. There are close to 800 deaths. It is most of all a parameter that is complicating the deployment in terms of taking airplanes, deploying the vaccines. All that is linked to supply and distribution and logistics management.”

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    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

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    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

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    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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  • In This Story: Democratic Republic of Congo

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DROC, or simply either Congo or the Congo, and historically Zaire, is a country in Central Africa. The capital is Kinshasa.

    With a population of over 101 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most-populous officially Francophone country in the world.

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has suffered from political instability. As of 2018, around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Two million children risk starvation, and the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people.

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