<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=769125799912420&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
About Our People Legal Stuff Careers
Congo Ebola-Battle for Burials
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, a health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, Eastern Congo. Sometimes violent community resistance is complicating efforts to contain Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak, causing the rate of new cases to rise. (AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro, File)

With at least 319 confirmed cases, Congo ministry says Ebola outbreak worst in nation's history

Actions

By SALEH MWANAMILONGO, Associated Press

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's latest Ebola outbreak is the worst in the country's recorded history with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said.

The deadly virus has killed about 198 people since the outbreak was declared Aug. 1 in the volatile east, the ministry said. Those dead include 163 confirmed Ebola cases, with 35 probable deaths. Nearly 100 people have survived Ebola.

Congo Ebola
In this photo taken Friday, Oct 5, 2018, family members and onlookers mourn over the bodies of civilians killed by The Allied Democratic Forces rebels in Beni, Eastern Congo. Congo military said Sunday Oct. 21, 2018, that rebels attacked an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, leaving over a dozen civilians dead and abducted about a dozen children, which could force crucial virus containment efforts to be suspended in the area. (AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro)

This is Congo's 10th outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified in Yambuku, in the Equateur province, the ministry said.

Health Minister Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga said late Friday that the figures now exceed that outbreak.

"This epidemic remains dangerous and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down. We must continue to pursue a very dynamic response that requires permanent readjustments and real ownership at the community level."
Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, health minister

"No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are currently experiencing," Kalenga said. "Since their arrival in the region, the response teams have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment, and kidnapping. Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit even lost their lives in an attack."

Armed groups vying for control of Congo's mineral-rich east have staged regular attacks in Congo's Ituri and North Kivu provinces, complicating the response by health officials who are also meeting community resistance.

Congo Ebola
A man displays an Ebola information leaflet for residents in Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro)

Health officials, however, have managed to vaccinate more than 27,000 high-risk contacts, of which at least half could have developed Ebola, the health minister said.

"This epidemic remains dangerous and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down. We must continue to pursue a very dynamic response that requires permanent readjustments and real ownership at the community level," he said.

The head of U.N. peacekeeping operations vowed this week to do more with Congo's government to help improve security in the country's east.

"No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are currently experiencing."
Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, health minister

This is the first time an Ebola outbreak has occurred in Congo's far northeast. The health ministry has said teams responding to the Ebola outbreak are attacked three or four times a week on average, a level of violence unseen in the country's nine previous outbreaks of the virus.

Ebola is spread via the body fluids of infected people, including the dead.

Congo's latest Ebola outbreak taking place in a war zone

___

AP writer Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.

Comments
Read Comments
Comments
Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linked In List Menu Enlarge Gallery Info Menu Close Angle Down Angle Up Angle Left Angle Right Grid Grid Play Align Left Search Youtube Mail Mail Angle Down Bookmark