Ebola outbreak in DR Congo surpasses 1,000 cases

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The spike in cases pushed the outbreak total over the 1,000-case milestone as it enters its eighth month.

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 Ebola outbreak in DRC was declared in August 2018.

Just this month, militants attacked a treatment center in North Kivu, injuring a staff member and killing a police officer. "It's also bad for their families, it's also bad for their communities, because they're transmitting the disease before they are isolated". As of today 91,286 people have been vaccinated, including 22,708 in Katwa and 21,056 in Beni.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reaffirmed its commitment to ending the outbreak and working with the government and local communities to build resilient health systems. "Despite the increased frequency of attacks by armed groups, WHO will stay the course and will work with communities to end this outbreak together with the Ministry of Health and partners", Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said in a statement Saturday.

"These numbers show that despite the hard work being done, this outbreak is far from over".

"We are already nearly seven months into this outbreak and at this stage we should be seeing the case rate declining, not on the rise, with an optimistic outlook this outbreak is predicted to last another six months - but realistically we could be looking towards another year of fighting this disease".

Violent attacks and lingering distrust have hampered medical responses throughout the outbreak.

The IRC boss director said: "With an optimistic outlook this outbreak is predicted to last another six months - but realistically we could be looking towards another year of fighting this disease".

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