Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Ebola kills 198 in Democratic Republic of Congo

Ebola kills 198 in Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola outbreak kills 19 under one week in DR Congo
Carol Daniels | 02 December, 2018, 12:42

The World Health Organization reported late Thursday that it's found 426 cases - one more than a massive outbreak in Uganda almost two decades ago.

According to United Nations health body, there have been struggles to contain the disease since the outbreak in August with armed conflict in the eastern city of Beni in North Kivu, hampering efforts to curb the disease.

Ebola has killed 240 people and infected more than 400 in the DRC since July this year in an outbreak that shows little sign of abating.

However, violent attacks from rebel groups in the area are impeding the response.

The outbreak is the tenth in DR Congo since Ebola was first detected there in 1976. As emergency coordinator for MSF's Ebola response, Axelle Ronsse said, "we are now operating in a war zone".

According to the Health Ministry, among the 426 cases of reported hemorrhagic fever, 379 of them were confirmed to be Ebola cases.

Because the data collected in the North Kivu epidemic is unlikely to be sufficient for a complete study, the country's health ministry said the clinical trial may extend over a five-year period to cover Ebola outbreaks in other countries.

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Violence is common in the central African country and has made it hard to stop the Ebola outbreak - earlier in the same week eight United Nations peacekeepers and 12 local soldiers died in an ambush.

Health workers had to be evacuated from their hotel after it was hit by a shell in a nearby armed rebel attack earlier this month.

Armed groups have kidnapped and killed people trying to treat the sick, and ongoing conflict has made locals suspicious of official health workers. "We will not rest until this outbreak is finished".

"We remain hopeful that the security situation improves so we can return to the affected communities", Kathy Harben, a CDC spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Nearly 200 people have died in this outbreak of Ebola.

Day by day, reports by health organisations note one new difficulty after another in this latest outbreak, even as their work sets milestones that have given new hope in the fight against one of the world's most notorious diseases.

The WHO said the current malaria control campaign is modelled on the one implemented in Sierra Leone. In addition to tracking and treating cases, frontline health workers are vaccinating tens of thousands of people. "Is there potential for requiring global response?"

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