Congo’s Ebola outbreak now 2nd largest in history

Congo’s Ebola outbreak now 2nd largest in history

Congo’s Ebola outbreak now 2nd largest in history

The International Rescue Committee on Friday said an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become the second-worst in history.

The US experts have been sidelined for weeks, ordered away from the region because of State Department security concerns.

Dr. Olly Ilunga, the DRC's Minister of Health said in a press release, "These trials will contribute to building that knowledge, while we continue to respond on every front to bring the current outbreak to an end". New statements in two top medical journals this week are calling on the U.S. to change its mind and send them back where they are sorely needed.

According to Michelle Gayer, the IRC's senior director of emergency health, this tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak.

And, this Ebola outbreak could easily spread throughout Africa. Teams with the World Health Organisation and DRC's health ministry venture out on virus containment missions accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers or other armed security 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.

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In a major concern for health workers, many new cases have been unconnected to known infections as the insecurity complicates efforts to track contacts of those with the disease.

Nearly 200 people have died in this outbreak of Ebola.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, one group noted that the USA government weeks ago ordered all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention personnel - "some of the world's most experienced outbreak experts" - from Congo's outbreak zone because of security concerns. The trial is the first-ever multi drug trial for treatment of Ebola.

As the need for help in containing the outbreak grows, two of the world's most prominent medical journals this week published statements by global health experts urging the Trump administration to do more.

The town of Beni in North Kivu Province, now battling the worst Ebola outbreak in Congo's history, has also seen an eight-fold increase in malaria cases since a year ago.

"We haven't seen the height of this outbreak", she warned as Ebola moves into new areas in Congo that are worrying close to the heavily traveled border with Uganda.

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