Tue. Apr 23rd, 2019

There are already more than 800 killed by Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

There are already more than 800 killed by Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

A total of 803 people have died from Ebola in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since the epidemic of the disease was declared last August, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health.

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In a report sent to Efe with figures in force until April 13, the authorities estimated the deaths at 803, of which 737 were positive in laboratory tests and the rest are likely.

The cases of contagion are now 1,251, of which 1,185 are confirmed in the laboratory.

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 been hampered by the refusal of some communities to receive treatment and insecurity in the area, where numerous armed groups operate.

Since August 8, when the vaccinations began, almost 99,800 people have been inoculated, mostly in the cities of Katwa, Beni, Butembo, Mabalako and Mandima, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health.

Last week, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) warned that Ebola in the DRC "is spreading faster", while growing distrust of the population in the medical response to the epidemic.

For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided last Friday not to declare an international emergency due to the outbreak, despite the increase in cases and deaths in recent weeks and the difficult access to affected areas where armed groups are operating.

An international public health emergency involves the issuance of a formal alert addressed to governments and helps mobilize resources.

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

Almost two years later, in January 2016, the WHO 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.

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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