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North Kivu’s Ebola Operations Resume

The number of reported Ebola cases stands at 608, including 369 deaths.

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Congo, ebola
Demonstrators barricade a road during protests over their exclusion from the presidential election in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 28, 2018. VOA

Ebola control operations have been restored in Democratic Republic of Congo’s conflict-ridden North Kivu province, following pre-election protests late last year, the World Health Organization reports.

Anti-government demonstrations preceding presidential elections on December 26 disrupted key Ebola response activities in some affected areas of the province, notably in Beni and Butembo.

Crowds of people, angry at the government’s decision to bar the region from voting in the election, vandalized an Ebola transit center and other health facilities. The damage prevented health workers from going to communities at risk and providing services needed to control the spread of the deadly disease.

Ebola, pregnant women
A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a woman who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 18, 2018. VOA

But WHO says full operations have been restored in all locations as of Jan. 1. While the situation is now calm, WHO spokesman Tarek Jasarevic tells VOA that any interruption could lead to increased transmission of the virus.

“There is a risk that all this work that is being put in place, and WHO has more than 380 people on the ground, alongside hundreds of people deployed by the Ministry of Health and other partners, that this effort may be put in danger if we are not able to go and put response activities in the community,” Jasarevic said.

Also Read: North Kivu and Ituri, Congo To Welcome More Than 80,000 Children in This New School Year

The number of reported Ebola cases stands at 608, including 369 deaths. WHO says no new cases have been reported among health care workers in 2019, leaving the number affected at 54, including 18 deaths.

Jasarevic says it is yet to be seen whether the temporary disruption of Ebola activities prior to the elections will result in an upsurge in cases. (VOA)

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US Doctor Saves Person’s Life Using Apple Watch; Detects Deadly Heart Condition

The key health feature on Apple Watch is yet to arrive in India

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apple watch
The irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch can check heart rhythms and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified. Pixabay

In a first, a US doctor has saved a person’s life by using Apple Watch Series 4 on his wrist to detect atrial fibrillation at a restaurant. Atrial fibrillation, a deadly and often undiagnosed condition, can lead to strokes. The condition often remains hidden because many people do not experience symptoms.

The irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch can check heart rhythms and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified.

“As a physician, it’s much faster to put my #applewatch4 on someone else’s wrist to detect disease (A. fib) than finding a ECG machine at a public restaurant!

Apple watch
The key health feature on Apple Watch is yet to arrive in India. Pixabay

(Indeed, a true #mhealth guardian),” tweeted Tommy Korn MD, and ophthalmologist from San Diego, California. In the replies to his tweet, Korn said that the person diagnosed with A-fib was later doing fine.

ALSO READ: Apple Watch Can Detect And Notify Users Irregular Heart Rhythms

Apple Watch Series 4 is now helping users in the US, Europe and Hong Kong take an electrocardiogram (ECG) right from their wrist, capturing heart rhythm in a moment when they experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped heart beat and helping to provide critical data to physicians. The key health feature on Apple Watch is yet to arrive in India. (IANS)