THE current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most severe in the country’s history with 319 confirmed and probable cases and at least 198 dead.
The DRC’s health ministry said the hemorrhagic fever is believed to have killed 198 people in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, where attacks by armed groups and community resistance to health officials have complicated the response. The outbreak, the second this year, began in North Kivu before spreading east to Ituri. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the DRC’s minister of public health, said efforts to contain the deadly outbreak have been thwarted by violence against health officials and civilians as militant groups battle for control in the affected region.
The minister said two health workers were killed in one attack. Last month 11 civilians and a soldier were killed in the city of Beni – the centre of the outbreak.
Mr Kalenga said: “No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are currently experiencing.”
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said there is a worry the outbreak is in an active conflict zone in North Kivu, making it hard for health workers to track down and isolate cases.
A USAID official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters: “We are absolutely concerned about the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.