By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the largest in the world and continues to trend and spread geographically.

DRC map
Democratic Republic of the Congo/CIA

Through September 1 this year, officials have reported 179,477 suspected measles cases including 3,559 deaths (CFR 2.0%).

Cases have been reported from more than 90 percent health zones across all 26 provinces in the country.

The World Health Organization reports that nearly half of all cases are from four provinces–Tshopo (32,832), Kasai (29,476), Haut-Lomami (14,632) and South-Kivu (9,870).

The capital city of Kinshasa has seen more than 5,600 cases.

Health officials have seen two peaks of measles this year with the most recent being several weeks ago.

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WHO says the massive resurgence of measles in Democratic Republic of the Congo is likely due to an accumulation of measles-susceptible children which were not vaccinated against the virus due to suboptimal routine immunization coverage and inadequate implementation of supplementary immunization activities (SIA). Furthermore, the under-performance of case-based surveillance has impaired rapid detection of suspected measles cases, which is necessary to guide timely and effective outbreak response interventions.