Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak now second largest in history

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak now second largest in history

More than 37,000 people have been vaccinated for the disease in the outbreak zone since August 8, according to the health ministry's daily bulletin on Thursday.

And, the U.S. State Department issued a "do not travel" alert because of armed group activity and major outbreaks of violence targeting civilians.

The epidemic in a volatile part of the Democratic Republic of Congo is behind only the devastating West Africa outbreak that killed thousands a few years ago.

Rebel groups attacking health workers and open hostility by locals have been considered as serious challenges, Ebola experts have said, as per the report.

'While our focus remains on bringing this outbreak to an end, the launch of the randomised control trial is an important step toward finally finding an Ebola treatment that will save lives, ' said World Health Organization director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

WHO emergencies chief Dr Peter Salama on late Thursday called it "a sad toll" as Congo's health ministry announced the number of cases has reached 426.

It is not clear how many Centers for Disease Control and Prevention workers are now trying to tackle the outbreak from Congo's capital, Kinshasa, which is almost 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away.

'These trials will contribute to building that knowledge, while we continue to respond on every front to bring the current outbreak to an end'.

Many venture out on critical virus containment missions only accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers in areas where gunfire echoes daily.

It will form part of a multi-outbreak, multi-country study that was agreed to by partners last month under a World Health Organization initiative. That's not a welcome thought to neighboring Uganda and Rwanda. The conflict slows healthcare workers' attempts to fight the virus. More than 37 000 people have received Ebola vaccinations, and DRC has begun the first-ever trial to test the effectiveness and safety of four experimental Ebola drugs.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) stated this in a statement released on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

The deadly virus, Ebola was initially identified in 1979.

The CDC's experts have rich experience in surveillance, treatment and lab testing, Mearns said, adding that some of that work is now being done from afar.

Ebola - a tropical fever which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo - can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.

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