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DR Congo: Death toll from Ebola outbreak hits over 2,000

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say the country’s year-long Ebola outbreak has led to the death of at least 2,000.

According to government data published on Friday, the number of confirmed and probable cases has also hit a milestone of more than 3,000.

The government data showed Ebola deaths reaching 2,006 and cases at 3,004.

The current Ebola outbreak is the second-worst in history. In the DR Congo the current outbreak is the 10th Ebola to be recorded.

The worst epidemic was recorded between 2013-2016 in West Africa. More than 11,300 people died then out of 28,000 who were infected.

An effective vaccine and treatment process has been ongoing but health workers have struggled to control the spread of the disease.

There are challenges especially in remote and conflict-hit areas of eastern Congo, where many locals are wary of the response effort.

In July the World Health Organization (W.H.O) declared the current Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

The W.H.O defines Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) as, “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.

This definition refers to a situation that is:

  • Serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected.
  • Carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border.
  • May require immediate international action

Meanwhile other neighboring countries like Uganda have had to put in place measures to prevent the spread of the disease across the border.

So persons who crossed from DR Congo to Uganda have been reported to have been infected by the virus and subsequently died.


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