Six weeks old baby survives ebola in Congo

In a miracle baby in Congo recovers from Ebola

Baby Benedicte is the youngest survivor of the disease. Image Source

The infant was admitted to a treatment center just six days after being born.

Global health organizations have sounded the alarm over the high number of young children infected in the current Ebola outbreak, which began on August 1 and now has 515 confirmed and probable cases, resulting in 303 deaths, across two northeastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo bordering South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda.

The newborn girl, named Benedicte, received treatment in the city of Beni, one of the current epicenters of the outbreak, after her Ebola-stricken mother died in childbirth on October 31. "She went home in the arms of her father and her aunt", the ministry said. The baby is said to be the youngest survivor thus far in the world's second-largest, second-deadliest Ebola outbreak. In video footage shared by UNICEF, she is shown in an isolated treatment area, cradled in the arms of health workers in protective gear or cuddled by Ebola survivors, called "nounous", who can go without certain gear such as masks.

In this photograph taken last December 3, 2018 and released by UNICEF, an Ebola survivor cares for one week-old Benedicte.

Meanwhile, this news was certainly a ray of hope in what health agencies have had growing concerns about. During this outbreak, there have been 27 cases of Ebola in children yet to reach their first birthday and 21 have died.

UNICEF also explained that one in 10 Ebola cases is a child below 5 years old, with those contracting hemorrhagic fever in a higher risk of fatality. Over 500 cases have been reported and the virus has already claimed over two hundred lives.

As for babies, a few cases have been noted, which experts say may have been passed on through breastfeeding or close contact with infected patients. While early supportive care improves the likelihood of survival, there is no treatment for it yet. Moreover, the World Health Organization said the spread of the disease also happens in health centers.

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