>> The new Ebola outbreak in the Congo has now reached a major city, the with a population of a million people. It means the virus may be about to get way more difficult to contain. 23 have already died in more rural areas. A first batch of experimental vaccines only arrived on Wednesday.
It is the seventh time the DRC has been hit in the last two decades. So, why does the virus keep coming back? Reuters Pharmaceuticals Correspondent Ben Hirshler says it is partly a problem of education in West Africa and food sources.>> The problem is, this virus is endemic in the tropical forests of Africa.
It's in large reservoirs of fruit bats of which the vast, vast populations, they don't seem to get sick with the virus but they can pass it on occasionally to other animals, they can drop infected fruit which might get eating by a deer or monkeys and then when people come into contact with those infected animals, that's when the virus transmits to humans.
>> We're talking about bush meat. These animals, including bats, are all part of local cuisines, like these Reuters found in Congo market during a past outbreak. Health agencies say that people need to know how to properly handle the animals from hunter to plate, if they are to continue eating them, such as cooking them thoroughly and not allowing the meat to contaminate other foods.
But how people react after an infection is just as important. They also need to educate populations. They need to help treat those who are sick because you can have a much better chance of recover if you have rehydration, whether that's oral rehydration or intravenous rehydration. They also need to make sure they have safe burial processes because touching infected corpses is a common way of spreading infection.
During the 2014 outbreak, scientists at Yale University said funerals presented a huge vector for the virus' transmission.