Idaho non-profit helps fight Ebola outbreak in the Congo

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-19 19:49:26-05

NAMPA, Idaho — An Idaho non-profit is helping fight the Ebola virus outbreak in the Congo.

On average, Ebola -- which causes fever, severe headache and in some cases hemorrhaging -- kills about half of those infected. The latest outbreak has a case fatality rate of 60%. The current outbreak is the second-deadliest and second-largest in history, topped only by one in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

"Mission Aviation Fellowship" out of Nampa is in the Congo now, ad has set up the safety protocols for flying samples and people. Several organizations are working to establish the full extent of the outbreak. MAF has done about 24 flights into the country since the outbreak started.

The crisis is now spreading closer to their base, but John Woodberry, the MAF's Global Disaster Response Manager, says his team won't give up.

"The crisis to our base so recently some of our families evacuated to Uganda, but we're still continuing to do flights into East DRC for the Ebola outbreak and we hope to get our families back in very soon," Woodberry said.

Since the outbreak was declared, there have been more than 650 confirmed cases, and 407 people have died so far.