By Saleh Mwanamilongo | AP November 10 at 19:43 KINSHASA, Congo – Congo's latest Ebola eruption is the worst in…
KINSHASA, Congo – Congo’s latest Ebola eruption is the worst in the country’s recorded history with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the Health Ministry said.
The deadly virus has killed about 198 people since the outbreak was declared August 1st in the fugitive East, the Ministry said. The dead include 163 confirmed Ebola cases, with 35 probable deaths. Almost 100 people have survived Ebola.
This is Congo’s 10th outbreak since 1976, when hemorrhagic fever was identified for the first time in Yambuku, in the Equator province, the Ministry said.
Health Secretary Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga said last Friday that the numbers now exceed this outbreak.
“No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are currently experiencing,” said Kalenga. “Since their arrival in the region, the respondents have encountered threats, physical abuse, repeated destruction of their equipment and kidnapping. Two of our Rapid Response Medical Unit colleagues even lost their lives in an attack.”
Armed groups striving for The control of the Congo’s mineral-rich east has organized regular attacks in Congo’s Ituri and North Kivu provinces, which complicates health-conscious officials who also face community resistance.
However, health officials have managed to vaccinate more than 27,000 high-risk contacts, of which at least half could have developed Ebola, health care said.
“This epidemic remains dangerous and unpredictable and we must not let our guard down. We must continue to drive a very dynamic response that requires permanent adjustments and genuine ownership at Community level.”
The head of UN peacekeeping operations promised this week to do more with the Government of Congo to improve the security of the country’s east.
This is the first time an Ebola eruption has occurred in the northeastern part of Congo. The Ministry of Health has said that teams responding to the Ebola eruption are attacked on average three or four times a week, a level of violence not seen in the country’s nine previous outbreaks of the virus.
Ebola is spread through body fluids from infected persons, including the dead.
AP author Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.
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