Congo sees deadliest Ebola outbreak to date, health official says

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 13, 2018

The USAID official said the United States had deployed over two dozen technical experts to the country to work with Congo's health ministry since the outbreak was first reported in August.

Since the outbreak began in August, 191 people have died, about half of them in Beni, a city of 800,000 people at the epicentre of the outbreak, the World Health Organization said in a statement with the UN's Department of Peacekeeping.

The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most severe in the country's history with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said late on Friday.

Nigeria experienced an Ebola outbreak in 2014, leading to the deaths of eight persons - most notably Stella Adedavoh, a medical doctor.

"Since their arrival in the region, the response teams have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment and kidnapping", said Kalenga. "Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit even lost their lives in an attack", the AP reports.

The UN Stabilisation Mission in DRC, MONUSCO, said it has taken an active approach in recent weeks to quell armed group activity in the North Kivu area, and protect Beni from conflict.

The current outbreak of Ebola, which began in July, is the 10th to hit the country since 1976.

Armed groups vying for control of Congo's mineral-rich east have staged regular attacks in Congo's Ituri and North Kivu provinces, complicating the response by health officials who are also meeting community resistance.

The ministry pointed out that the current outbreak of Ebola is the most hard the world ever faced as the response measures faced problems over the unstable security situation in the disease-hit region.

The virus is spread via small amounts of bodily fluid and infection often proves fatal.

"As complex and challenging as this outbreak is, I am confident... we can and will end it", Ghebreyesus added. Because when operations are stopped, there is always a backload of vaccinations, or contact tracing.

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