Tuesday April 23, 2019

Congo’s Escalating Ebola Epidemic Exceeds 1,000 Cases Making it World’s Second-Worst Outbreak

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid group, cautioned that case numbers were on the rise and the outbreak could last another six to 12 months in a region beset by violence and poverty

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FILE - Health workers are seen inside the "red zone" of an Ebola treatment center, which was attacked in the early hours of March 9, 2019, in Butembo. VOA

Congo’s Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, the country’s health ministry said Monday, with a death toll of about 629 in the world’s second-worst outbreak.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid group, cautioned that case numbers were on the rise and the outbreak could last another six to 12 months in a region beset by violence and poverty.

Here are some key facts and figures about Ebola:

* The world’s worst epidemic of Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, began in Guinea in December 2013 and swept through Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 11,300 people.

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid group, cautioned that case numbers were on the rise. Pixabay

* Ebola causes fever, flu-like pains, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea and spreads among humans through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.

* The world’s second-biggest outbreak of Ebola began in August 2018 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

* By March 2019, Congo’s Ebola outbreak surpassed 1,000 cases with a death toll of 629 and spread to the city of Bunia, the second-largest city in eastern Congo.

* The IRC said in the past week there had been 58 new reported cases — the highest number in a week in 2019.

Congo’s Health Ministry said Monday that the Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, with a death toll of 629. Pixabay

* Its staff were working in about 59 health clinics to train health workers to recognize symptoms and safely triage and transfer suspected Ebola patients to treatment centers.

* Five Ebola centers have been attacked since February 2019.

ALSO READ: 13 Million in Congo Suffer from ‘Hunger’ and ‘Malnutrition’: UN

* The head of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) earlier in March warned that the battle against Ebola was being lost because ordinary people did not trust health workers and the response was overly militarized. (VOA)

Next Story

WHO Might Declare Congo’s Ebola Outbreak an International Health Emergency

Capobianco cited Congolese health ministry statistics announced on Thursday showing 40 new cases over two days this week

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FILE - Health workers carry a newly admitted confirmed Ebola patient into a treatment centre in Butembo in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, March 28, 2019. VOA

A top Red Cross official says he’s “more concerned than I have ever been” about the possible regional spread of the Ebola virus in Congo after a recent spike in cases.

Emanuele Capobianco spoke by phone ahead of a key World Health Organization meeting in Geneva later Friday about whether to declare the Ebola outbreak in northeastern Congo an international health emergency.

ebola, congo
The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid group, cautioned that case numbers were on the rise. Pixabay

Capobianco, head of health and care at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, cited Congolese health ministry statistics announced on Thursday showing 40 new cases over two days this week.

ALSO READ: Car Pollution: The Cause of Asthma Among Over 350,000 Children in India

He called that rate unprecedented in the current eight-month outbreak.

He cites lack of trust about Ebola treatment in the community and insecurity caused by rebel groups that has hurt aid efforts. (VOA)