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Children attending a primary education program for conflict-affected students
Flickr: USAID Africa Bureau
Health

This Ebola Survivor Delivered a Healthy Baby During One of the Worst Outbreaks in History


Why Global Citizens Should Care
On average, Ebola kills about half of the people it infects. Diseases like Ebola are deadlier in impoverished areas that lack access to health resources, which makes it important to rapidly mobilize resources to contain the spread of the disease. You can help by taking action here.          

Amid the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, an Ebola survivor delivered a healthy baby girl named Sylvana on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the Associated Press

"She is in good health and is not infected with Ebola," said the Health Ministry in a statement to the AP.

Take Action: Stand With Every Woman, Every Child: Ask World Leaders to End Preventable Deaths

Over 580 people are currently suffering from Ebola in what has become the Democratic Republic of Congo’s worst outbreak in history, according to the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP.)  More than 383 people have died in the outbreak, which exceeds the county’s death toll during the Ebola outbreak of 2013, the worst recorded outbreak in the region, which ultimately killed more than 11,000 people across several countries in West Africa.

Unlike Congo’s nine previous outbreaks, this one is happening alongside a civil war and militia violence. Baby Sylvana was delivered in a treatment center in Beni, a city where rebel attacks have prevented health workers from providing medical care.

Read More: Why the Most Recent Ebola Outbreak in the Congo Is So Dangerous

Ebola has adversely affected Congo’s youth, with children making up about one-fifth of all cases, according to UNICEF. Children who develop hemorrhagic fever from the disease have a greater risk of dying than adults.

The youngest person reported to be infected has been a 6-day-old baby. Baby Bénédicte was nicknamed “young miracle” because of her full recovery from the disease in December. Experts believe that Ebola may possibly be spread to children by close contact with sick parents and breast milk transfusion

While Baby Sylvana’s mother recovered, Baby Bénédicte’s mother, who also had Ebola, died in childbirth.

Read More: Congo's Worst Ebola Outbreak Risks Spreading — and Women Are the Most Affected

Mothers are also being affected by the Ebola crisis. Hundreds of children have lost their parents during this outbreak, the New York Post reports. Women are suffering the most during this outbreak, making up 60% of new cases.

Poverty is also a compounding factor in the crisis, because of how it prevents people from receiving proper health care. Congo is the second poorest country in the world, trailing behind Niger, according to the Human Development Index. Approximately 63.6% of its citizens live below the poverty line.

Symptoms of Ebola include fever, severe headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, hemorrhaging, and diarrhea, according to the CDC. On average, Ebola kills about half of the people it infects.