Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak now second-worst in history


This is the 10th outbreak and the worst that the country has seen since 1976, the year that scientists first identified the deadly virus near the eponymous Ebola River.

The World Health Organization reported late Thursday that it's found 426 cases - one more than a massive outbreak in Uganda almost two decades ago.

So far this outbreak declared on August 1, has 198 confirmed deaths, with another 47 probable ones, Congo's health ministry said.

Some 16 World Health Organization staff were taken out of the city of Beni, where most of the outbreak is happening.

Previously, the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit was eligible for procurement to Ebola-affected countries, under the WHO Emergency Assessment. "These trials will contribute to building that knowledge, while we continue to respond on every front to bring the current outbreak to an end".

'Probably more than 50 per cent of cases in Beni have been driven from these tradi-modern health care facilities, and the fact that hygiene and injection practices in these areas are relatively unsafe'. 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. "You're going to see a sharp escalation of this outbreak".

'This epidemic remains risky and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down, ' said Dr Kalenga.

The security situation in the region has at times limited the response efforts. "Is there potential for requiring worldwide response?"

According to the ministry, nearly half of the 106 confirmed deaths were in the city of Beni which has a population of approximately 800,000 people.

World Health Organization has highlighted that more than 37,000 people have been given Ebola vaccinations. There is also a reluctance among some residents to seek care or allow health workers to vaccinate, conduct contact tracing and perform safe burials, according to health officials.

This is what happened in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, when people with malaria were filling Ebola treatment centres during the West African outbreak in 2014, he said.

At least 245 people have died from the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo in recent weeks, the country's health ministry said Thursday, making it the second-deadliest outbreak of the disease in history.

The combination of rebel violence and pre-election unrest is creating a "perfect storm" for an even worse epidemic, he said.