World Health Organization says DRC Ebola outbreak second largest in history

Image  DRC MOH

Image DRC MOH

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially announced the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the second largest and second deadliest in history, behind the devastating West Africa outbreak in 2014 that killed thousands.

Security concerns are real, Ebola responders say.

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

New statements in two top medical journals this week are calling on the U.S.to change its mind and send its experts back where they are sorely needed.

Michelle Gayer, Senior Director of Emergency Health at the International Rescue Committee, said, "This tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak.we're witnessing how the dynamics of conflict pose a different kind of threat: a protracted outbreak is highly likely and the end is simply not in sight".

"The #Ebola outbreak in #DRC is now second largest historically".

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.

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.

"It is in United States national interests to control outbreaks before they escalate into a crisis", one group of global health experts said in the Journal of the American Medical Association. More than 26,000 people in the DRC have been inoculated in a "ring vaccination" policy in which those who have been in contact with an Ebola patient are vaccinated.

World Health Organization has highlighted that more than 37,000 people have been given Ebola vaccinations.

"We haven't seen the height of this outbreak", she warned as Ebola continues to move into new areas in DRC, worrying close to a heavily traveled border with Uganda.

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.

Congo has suffered 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered there in 1976.

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