More than 1,000 people have so far died from Ebola in DR Congo

DR Congo Ebola deaths pass 1,000

By BBC

A health worker writes the name of an Ebola victim on a cross
Image captionThe Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is already the second deadliest in history. Image copyright REUTERS

The death toll from the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has passed 1,000, the health ministry says.

DRC’s Ebola outbreak began in August and is the second deadliest in history.

World Health Organization deputy director Dr Michael Ryan said mistrust and violence was harming efforts to tackle the disease as it spread through the east of the country.

There have been 119 documented attacks on medical centres and staff since January, Dr Ryan said.

WHO staff anticipated “continued intense transmission”, he added, in a briefing to reporters in Geneva.

Health workers have plenty of vaccines – more than 100,000 people have already been given the treatment. But continuing violence in the east of the country where militias are present, as well as mistrust of doctors, was hindering their programme, Dr Ryan said.

“We still face major issues of community acceptance and trust,” he said.

Media caption Treating Ebola in the DR Congo warzone

The DRC is also suffering from an outbreak of measles which has killed more than 1,000 people, with 50,000 cases reported. WHO staff have confirmed measles in 14 of the country’s 26 provinces, in both rural and urban areas.

Ebola is still contained within two provinces in the DRC but it is becoming harder to monitor the spread of the virus because of violence. The WHO said the risk of a global spread is low, but it was very likely cases would spread into neighbouring countries.

Most Ebola outbreaks are over quickly and affect small numbers of people. Only once before has an outbreak been still growing more than eight months after it began – that was the epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, which killed 11,310 people.

Presentational grey line

What is Ebola?

  • Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat.
  • It progresses to vomiting, diarrhoea and both internal and external bleeding.
  • People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola.
  • Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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