Congo ebola epidemic becomes second worst outbreak everRita Dune
Congo ebola epidemic becomes second worst outbreak ever
There are now 1,009 reported cases of the disease, with the number of fatalities having climbed to 629.
The ebola epidemic crippling parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo has now exceeded 1,000 cases, making it the second worst outbreak in history.
In a statement, the Congolese health ministry revealed that the total number affected stood at 1,009, with the numbers of people killed having climbed to 629.
New technologies including a trial vaccine, experimental treatments and mobile units for looking after patients had raised hopes that medics would be better equipped to cope, but security issues have hampered the response.
Some centres set up to treat patients have been attacked by armed assailants
Five centres set up to treat those with the disease have been attacked since last month, sometimes by armed assailants, which forced a French medical charity to suspend its activities in eastern areas that are most badly affected.
Last December, Sky News visited a similar centre set up in the city of Beni, where 200 health workers were tasked with treating those admitted.
They erected a series of innovative, air-conditioned tents to house and treat the most serious cases, but there is no cure for the disease, which kills more than half of those it infects.
Efforts are ongoing to contain the spread of the viral disease
It has since become the second deadliest ebola outbreak of all-time, behind an unprecedented crisis in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people between 2013 and 2016.
There are fears that the Congo outbreak could still spread further, with authorities confirming a case last week in the northeastern city of Bunia, which is home to almost one million people.
The disease, which causes severe vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding, is thought to be able to move across vast distances due to it being carried by bats.
It has since become the second deadliest ebola outbreak ever
Large gaps between outbreaks can be explained by the likelihood that ebola-carrying bats move around and will only occasionally come into the kind of contact with people that leads to infection.
But as they are extremely social animals, the potential for the disease to spread from bat to bat – and potentially to other animals that could come into contact with humans – is very high.
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