As a new outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever strikes northwestern Congo, ESA is set to gather satellite data to help resolve the scientific enigma of this deadly disease.
Extract of a radar image centred on a cliff which works as a geographical barrier between two regions in the studied area : on the left, outbreaks have been registered, on the right, none have taken place. Satellite data being supplied to CIRMF researchers may help highlight patterns in the way Ebola strikes to help discover the mysterious host organism of the virus.
This CIRMF map illustrates the first source locations of Ebola virus outbreaks since 1994 along north eastern Gabon and the west basin of the Republic of Congo.
Whenever Ebola strikes Central Africa it can kill in large numbers. More than two dozen people have so far died during the latest epidemic, centred on the town of Mbomo in the Cuvette West region of Congo, near the Gabon border.
The disease causes runaway internal bleeding in humans and also apes. The Ebola virus undoubtedly has its home in deep tropical jungle, but its natural host organism or reservoir remains unknown.
Simon Pinnock | ESA
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