March 6, 2021

More than 1,600 killed by the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Ebola epidemic that shakes the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has caused 1,606 deaths since it was declared in August 2018, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health.

In a report provided to Efe with figures in force until July 3, the ministry said that of the 1,606 deaths, 1,512 were positive in laboratory tests and the rest are considered likely.

A total of 2,382 cases of contagion have been counted until the aforementioned date, of which 2,288 are confirmed in the laboratory.

Among those cases, 128 correspond to health personnel in charge of combating the outbreak, which has cost the lives of 40 of these professionals.

"One of the challenges to prevent Ebola in health centers and infections among health personnel is the large number of health structures in the affected areas of DRC," the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. , Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on his Twitter account.

Of those affected by the virus, 666 patients have managed to survive the disease, the Congolese authorities said.

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 last year in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

However, the control of the epidemic has been undermined by the refusal of some communities to receive treatment and insecurity in the area, where armed groups and rebel militias have attacked Ebola care centers.

Since August 8, 2018, when the vaccinations began, more than 155,500 people have been inoculated, according to the latest figures published by the Ministry of Health.

On June 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) chose not to declare the Ebola outbreak in the DRC as an international health emergency, but warned of the risk in the region after several cases arise in neighboring Uganda, a country now free of disease.

The most devastating Ebola outbreak worldwide was declared in March 2014, with cases dating back to December 2013 in Guinea-Conakri, a country from which it spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Almost two years later, in January 2016, the WHO proclaimed the end of that epidemic, in which 11,300 people died and more than 28,500 were infected, figures that, according to this UN agency, could be conservative.

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.

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