Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) health officials are reporting that since the beginning of the current Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri in July, the cumulative number of cases is 426, of which 379 are confirmed and 47 are probable.
This put the total cases over the 2000 Uganda outbreak (425) to become the second largest Ebola outbreak since it was “discovered” in 1976, only behind the 2014-2016 West Africa outbreak where 28,000 people were infected and some 11,000 died.
245 deaths (198 confirmed and 47 probable) have been recorded to date.
This is the 10th Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in DRC since 1976, accounting for nearly half off all outbreaks. It also follows an different EVD outbreak in the city of Mbandaka in the Equateur province, which was declared over in late July.
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. As emergency coordinator for MSF’s Ebola response, Axelle Ronsse said, “we are now operating in a war zone”.
In addition, there is a refugee crisis in the region and the large influx of people and there are issues within the community.
The Ministry of Health reports:
Field teams often face difficult situations. The many incidents, including physical and verbal abuse, are often caused by groups of youth who are hostile to the response activities. To remedy this, several leaders of these youth groups have been trained and hired by psycho-social care teams to support safe and dignified vaccination and burial activities in Katwa. These young people include those who broke into a morgue last week stealing the body of a person who died of Ebola and bringing it back to the family.
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