An Ebola outbreak in West Africa, between 2013 and 2016, killed an estimated 11.310 people, making it the largest Ebola epidemic in recorded history.
Now, according to the UN's global health body, the latest Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, an outbreak which has already killed 200 people and infected a further 426, is on-track, to becoming a pandemic of almost unimaginable magnitude.
This latest Ebola outbreak could not have chosen a more opportune place to sew its misery. Embedded in the small town of Beni, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an area already slap-bang in the middle of a conflict zone, doctors and nurses attempting to eradicate the virus and treat the victims, are themselves in constant danger of attack, from rebel forces, but still they carry on regardless.
A recent tweet from the Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, bares testimony to their commitment, saying; "[We] will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Congolese health ministry to do whatever it takes to bring the outbreak to an end".
Authors note: Going back to our original question; Could Ebola outbreak go viral? It would perhaps be better just to see how Ebola is spread.
Ebola disease spreads only by direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of a person who has developed symptoms of the disease. Body fluids that may contain Ebola viruses include saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine and semen.
Bottom line: If just one person infected with the Ebola virus boards a plane or a ship, then yes, it is possible for this latest Ebola outbreak, or for that matter any, to become a global pandemic.
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Sources and Credits: Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, United Nations, World Health Authority, BBC.UK,Congolese health ministry and my gracious friends at Wikipedia.