Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak 'worst' in country's history

Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak 'worst' in country's history

The epidemic is the 10th and most severe to hit Congo since the fever was identified in 1976, said health minister Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga.

Salama said the current Ebola outbreak is "arguably the most hard context that we've ever encountered", pointing to activities of two armed opposition groups in the region. Nearly 300 Ebola cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began in August, authorities say.

Ebola has killed 201 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo since an outbreak started two months ago in the country's war-torn east.

Ebola is a serious infectious disease that can spread rapidly through small amounts of bodily fluid, causing internal bleeding and potentially death.

The problem that medical response teams are having is two-fold: first are the regular attacks by armed groups fighting over the mineral-rich eastern areas of the country and secondly, the cases of community resistance reported by health officials.

The outbreak is the tenth in DR Congo since Ebola was first detected there in 1976. Earlier this month, World Health Organization and local officials used the vaccination to protect front-line workers in five high-risk districts in neighboring Uganda, and 91 people appeared to recover after they were given one of four new therapies against Ebola in Congo.

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"The current epidemic is the worst in the history of DRC", Jessica Ilunga, a spokeswoman for the ministry told Reuters.

The World Health Organization has warned the virus could spread to nearby countries, including Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

It is also well beyond the 54 cases and 33 deaths reported from an outbreak this year in another part of Congo, according to a tracker maintained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"When there is an attack, the operation actually freezes".

"And one is catching up on the backload".

"This epidemic remains risky and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down".

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