PHILOTOOTH: A medical worker wears a protective suit as he prepares to administer Ebola’s patient care at Alliator for International Medical Action (ALIMA) in Beni, Northern Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 6, 2018. REUTERS / Fiston Mahamba / Filfoto
KINSHASA (Reuters) ̵
1; The Ebola eruption in eastern Congo is now the second largest in history, with 426 confirmed and likely cases, the Health Ministry said late on Thursday.
The epidemic in a volatile part of the Democratic Republic of Congo is now only surpassed by the outbreak of 2013-2016 in West Africa, where more than 28,000 cases were confirmed, and is greater than an outbreak in 2000 in Uganda with 425 cases.
Ebola is believed to have killed 245 people in northern Kivu and Ituri provinces where attacks by armed groups and community resistance against health officials have prevented the response.
Congo has suffered 10 ebola eruptions since the virus was discovered there in 1976. It spreads through contact with body fluids and causes hemorrhagic fever with severe vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding and in many flare ups more than half of the cases are fatal.
“This tragic milestone clearly shows the complexity and severity of the outbreak,” said Michelle Gayer, chief executive of the International Rescue Committee in a statement. “The dynamics of the conflict (mean) … a long-term outburst is … likely, and the end is not in sight.”
Reporting of Giulia Paravicini; Editing Tim Cocks and Andrew Heavens
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