Congo health worker administers Ebola vaccine woman who was in contact with Ebola sufferer in Mangina village in North Kivu province in Democratic Republic of Congo, August 18, 2018. REUTERS / Olivia Acland
KITCHASA (Reuters) – The current epidemic of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most serious in the country's history with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said late on Friday.
It is believed that hemorrhagic fever has killed 198 people in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, where armed attacks and community resistance to health officials complicated the response.
The Congo has suffered 10 Ebola explosions since the virus was found near the Ebola in 1976.
"The current epidemic is worst in DRC history," said Jessica Ilunga, a spokeswoman for the Reuters ministry.
With more than 300 cases of epidemics, it is also the third worst in the history of the continent after the outbreak of 2013-2016. In West Africa, where more than 28,000 cases and outbreaks in Uganda were confirmed in 2000, including 425 cases.
General Director of World Health Organization Tedros Adhan Ghebreyesus said on Thursday that security was the primary challenge in the current epidemic, followed by mistrust in the community.
"When an attack arrives, the operation is actually freezing, so we're holding the operation, and when the operation stops, the virus gets the benefit and it affects us in two ways," he told reporters in Kinshasa.
"And one has caught up on the backload, because when the surgery stops, there is always a burden on vaccination or contact, and another, the other problem is that more cases are generated because we can not get them vaccinated," he said.
Confirmation of new cases accelerated in the last month, and the World Health Organization's emergency committee said in October that an epidemic would probably worsen if it did not respond.
Report by Giulia Paravicini; Additional reporting by Fiston Mahamba; Editing Alessandra Prentice and Hugh Lawson