More than 1,000 dead in Congo since Ebola outbreak in 2014

Henrietta Brewer
May 6, 2019

Ministry of Health (MOH) reported Friday (computer translated) that the death toll from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak has surpassed 1,000 total.

In a statement released Thursday, the DRC Health Ministry said there have been 1,529 cases of the disease, all but 66 confirmed, with 1,008 deaths since last summer.

There have been 119 recorded attacks on medical centres and staff since January, according to Dr Ryan.

The World Health Organization said it expected the nine-month outbreak to continue spreading though the east of Democratic Republic of Congo, and announced plans to expand vaccinations in the coming weeks once a new treatment by Johnson & Johnson is approved.

It is already using another experimental vaccine made by Merck.

The situation has been made more hard by dozens of rebel groups that operate in the region, and community rejection of health workers that has been driven in part by political rivalries, Ryan said.

Ryan said the United Nations health agency now has enough vaccine stocks to meet its needs but doses may run short. Ryan said authorities are looking at introducing another one.

The virus is most often spread by close contact with bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms and with objects such as sheets that have been contaminated.

It is already the second worst Ebola outbreak in history, although some way behind the 2014 West Africa epidemic which killed 11,000 people.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society says the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is "worsening".

Militiamen attacked a hospital treating Ebola patients two weeks ago, killing a senior World Health Organization epidemiologist and wounding two others, officials said at the time.

"This epidemic will not be brought under control without a really significant shift in the response", he said.

Scores of armed groups operate in the conflict-wracked region, including in the areas surrounding the North Kivu cities of Beni and Butembo, where the current outbreak is concentrated.

Other reports by iNewsToday