In the West, virtually unnoticed, spreading in Africa, one of the most insidious diseases in the world: Ebola. Anyone who is infected with the Virus suffers from high fever, pain and internal or external bleeding. According to statistics, two-thirds of the sick die.

Seriously, the extent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo currently In the Region of Nord-Kivu, most recently, 1600 people have been infected and already over 1000 have died – mostly women and children.

the disease is Transmitted through contact with body fluids of infected people or animals. Family members and nursing staff are exposed to a great risk of infection, even at funerals, where the dead are washed, spreading the disease.

propagation due to rebels

experts say: The Situation in the Congo gets out of control and could take on similar dimensions as the Ebola epidemic of 2014, as in Guinea, Sierre Leone and Liberia over 28’000 people became ill and 11’000 people died.

Peter Kremsner (58), Director of the Institute for tropical medicine at the University of Tübingen (D), says in the “süddeutsche Zeitung”: “You currently can not estimate at all of how it goes.” The current outbreak is unique and don’t fit at all into the picture of most of the previous 20 outbreaks.

Although there is now a vaccine that can spread the Virus because of the unstable situation in the North of the Congo river, unhindered. Often helpers of rebels are attacked, in addition, large parts of the population distrust the helpers.

Bern observed exactly

The Federal office of public health in Bern (BAG) observed, the recent Ebola outbreak closely. Patrick Mathys (49), in the division of Communicable diseases, crisis management, and international cooperation is responsible, says: “The situation is alarming, especially because, due to the tense security situation, the control and Monitoring of transmission chains is very difficult.” Critical it would be if the disease would spread to neighboring countries such as South Sudan and Uganda.

Geneva hospital is ready

The BAG is with relief organizations such as Doctors without borders in contact. Since the disease was to focus on an area where there is hardly any Travel to Switzerland have to currently be no measures taken. In the past few years have been recorded in Switzerland, only two patients who had become infected in Africa and were successfully cured.

The BAG would be always ready, just in case. Mathys: “At the Geneva University hospital we could Ebola patients and treat them.”


The Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome (Sars) has spread in 2003 from China to worldwide, and over 8000 Infected And 800 Deaths. Since then there have been human cases. Uncertain – and troubling – is whether there is in animals, and even the “reservoir”.

bird flu

in 2005/06, the bird reached flu, Switzerland, in Lucerne infected have been discovered in wild birds. Even today, it is mainly in the Asian region again and again, Transmissions from birds to humans, with death. Only hardly anyone will talk about this anymore today.

swine flu

in 2009, triggered by a new influenza virus from Mexico is a pandemic, the world died half a Million people in it. Patrick Mathys of the Federal office for health: “approximately every 30 years a flu pandemic. The next one is so determined, the only question is when.”


in 2015, had spread the Zika Virus from Brazil made of solid. The disease, the severity of neurological complications and abnormalities can result in babies, was imported in 1700 cases, to Europe. The situation has calmed down somewhat, the Virus, but especially in the South American region still part of everyday life.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

In the 1990s, the sale of beef has been restricted because of the risk of Transmission of BSE (mad cow disease) to humans. In Switzerland, there has never been such a case. Annually there are 10 to 15 classic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that breaks out due to a protein error in the people.