Health Care

Congo's Ebola outbreak now second-largest in history, World Health Organization says

Congo's Ebola outbreak now second-largest in history, World Health Organization says”

WHO emergencies chief Dr. Peter Salama late Thursday called it "a sad toll" as Congo's health ministry announced the number of cases has reached 426.

But it is still much smaller than the epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 which killed 11,310 people. The trial is the first-ever multi drug trial for treatment of Ebola.

"This tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak".

"While the numbers are far from those from West Africa in 2014, we're witnessing how the dynamics of conflict pose a different kind of threat, " Gayer said.

Congo has suffered 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered there in 1976.

"As of today, the outbreak has seen 426 cases of infection, 245 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 57 per cent, " the USA humanitarian organisation said in a statement.

Health workers on Wednesday launched a door-to-door, four-day blitz to control malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the aim of cutting suspected Ebola cases in half.

DRC and other health officials report a number of issues with this outbreak that are making efforts to contain quite challenging-North Kivu is home to a number of armed groups and the violence that goes with that is hampering efforts. That's not a welcome thought to neighboring Uganda and Rwanda.

The security situation in the region has at times limited the response efforts. The many incidents, including physical and verbal abuse, are often caused by groups of youth who are hostile to the response activities. People who have been in contact with those persons are then also vaccinated.

"No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are now experiencing", the Congolese health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, said in a November 9 statement.

"The outbreak is far from under control and it is highly likely that it will not be beaten for another six months".

It's not clear how many people from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are tackling the outbreak from Congo's capital, almost 1,000 miles away. "If want to see the end of this, we do need all critical actors on the ground".

Given the complications, this outbreak will last at least another six months before it can be contained, World Health Organization emergencies chief Dr Peter Salama has predicted.

"Is it extraordinary? Is there a risk of cross-border spread?"

Until now, over 160 patients have been treated with investigational therapeutics under an ethical framework developed by the World Health Organization, in consultation with experts in the field and the DRC, called the Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions (MEURI), the release said.



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