• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > World

Ebola Death Toll Reaches 606 in DR Congo Northeast Provinces

  • A healthcare worker sprays a room during an Ebola pacient's funeral in Beni, DR Congo, Dec. 9, 2018.

    A healthcare worker sprays a room during an Ebola pacient's funeral in Beni, DR Congo, Dec. 9, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 March 2019

The World Health Organization estimates the outbreak could be stopped by September.

The Health Ministry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) revealed Tuesday that the number of Ebola deaths reached 606 and detected infections reached 968 in North Kivu and Ituri, which are provinces located at the country's northeast.

DR Congo's Tshisekedi to Release 700 Political Prisoners

According to figures taken up until March 18, the Congolese authorities estimated 606 deaths, of which 541 were Ebola positive in the laboratory tests, while probable cases amount to 968, of which 903 were laboratory confirmed.

The North Kivu and Ituri provinces have been seriously hit by the current Ebola outbreak, which is the most lethal in the country's history.

Despite the actions undertaken by national and international health institutions, the outbreak has not yet been controlled because some communities refuse to receive treatment. Epidemiological control has also been weakened due to insecurity conditions at the country's northeast, where numerous armed groups operate.

More than 89,656 people have been inoculated since vaccinations began in Aug. 2018. This massive campaign has been focused mainly in the cities of Mabalako, Beni, Mandima, Katwa and Butembo.

Nevertheless, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the DR Congo Ebola outbreak is now concentrated in two areas and could be stopped by September.

"We have averted a much larger outbreak," WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus Adhanom said and added that “our target now is to finish [the outbreak] within the next six months."

The Ebola virus, which is transmitted through direct contact with blood and contaminated body fluids, causes hemorrhagic fever. If there is no timely medical treatment, 90 percent of infected people may die.

The world's most devastating outbreak was declared in March 2014, with cases that date back to December 2013 in Guinea-Conakri, an area from which Ebola expanded to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

In January 2016, the WHO declared the end of such an outbreak, in which 11,300 people died and more than 28,500 were infected. These figures could be an underestimation according to the agency.

Post with no comments.