Ebola outbreak in Congo now 2nd largest in history

Pearl Mccarthy
December 1, 2018

Dozens of rebel groups are active and attacks by them have forced workers to halt Ebola containment for days at a time. More than 10,000 people had died.

The outbreak is the tenth in DRC since Ebola was first detected there in 1976.

Four experimental drugs are being used to try and combat the disease - mAb 114, ZMapp, Remdesivir and Regeneron.

"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.

Explaining the World Health Organization-backed initiative, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "randomised control trial" in DR Congo was a "giant step" that would "bring clarity about what works best, and save many lives in years to come".

'Probably more than 50 per cent of cases in Beni have been driven from these tradi-modern health care facilities, and the fact that hygiene and injection practices in these areas are relatively unsafe'.

Some 38 people died after they had a hemorrhagic fever, but it couldn't be verified whether they died of Ebola because they were buried without an autopsy.

Officials in the country this month said they have never seen such a devastating outbreak.

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The WHO said the current malaria control campaign is modelled on the one implemented in Sierra Leone.

The outbreak, which began on 1 August, has now killed 241 people, the ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.

'This epidemic remains unsafe and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down, ' said Dr Kalenga.

He added: 'Since their arrival in the region, the response teams have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment, and kidnapping. "Is there potential for requiring worldwide response?"

In October, militants killed 11 civilians and a soldier in Beni, a city with a population of around 230,000 people where the outbreak is thought to have started. More than 26,000 people in the DRC have been inoculated in a "ring vaccination" policy in which those who have been in contact with an Ebola patient are vaccinated.

In October, WHO convened a meeting of worldwide organisations, United Nations partners, countries at risk of Ebola, drug manufacturers and others to agree on a framework to continue trials in the next Ebola outbreak, whenever and wherever it occurs.

'Normally, in every Ebola epidemic, children are not as affected'.

The organization's emergencies chief, Dr. Peter Salama, quoted by AP, called it a "sad toll" following Congo's health ministry announcement that the number of cases reached 426, of which includes 379 confirmed cases and 47 probable ones.

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