The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today estimated the number of deaths due to the Ebola outbreak in the northeast of the country at 402.
In a report issued with figures in effect until January 14, the authorities indicated that of the 402 deaths, 353 are confirmed with laboratory tests and 49 are still probable.
Likewise, the total number of contagious cases is 658, of which 609 are confirmed and 49 are also probable.
This outbreak – the most lethal in the history of the DRC and the second in the world due to deaths and cases, following the epidemic in West Africa in 2014 – was declared on August 1 in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.
However, the control of the epidemic has suffered due to the refusal of some communities to receive treatment and insecurity in the area, where numerous armed groups operate.
This is the second outbreak declared in 2018 in the DRC, just eight days after the Congolese Health Minister, Oly Ilunga, proclaimed the end of the previous epidemic in the west of the country.
This epidemic has already surpassed the deadliest in the history of DRC, which occurred in the town of Yambuku (north) at the end of August 1976 and considered the first outbreak of recorded Ebola, which left 280 dead among 318 cases.
Since August 8, when the vaccinations began, 60,460 people have been inoculated, mostly in the cities of Mabalako, Beni, Mandima, Katwa and Butembo, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with blood and contaminated body fluids, causes hemorrhagic fever and can reach a mortality rate of 90% if not treated in time.
The most devastating global outbreak was declared in March 2014, with cases that date back to December 2013 in Guinea-Conakri, country from which it expanded to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Almost two years later, in January 2016, the World Health Organization declared the end of this epidemic, in which 11,300 people died and more than 28,500 were infected, figures that, according to this UN agency, could be conservative.