Rate of new Ebola cases in DRC has doubled since September


Rate of new Ebola cases in DRC has doubled since September

In Summary

  • Congolese and international health officials were credited with responding rapidly to the last outbreak.
  • Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats and can turn up in bush meat sold at food markets throughout Congo.
  • Once present in humans, it causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

Health officials say the rate of new Ebola cases has more than doubled since September after rebel violence in northeastern Congo caused response efforts to be briefly suspended.

In a statement, the International Rescue Committee says it is “alarmed” that there were 33 new cases between October 1 and Tuesday, versus 41 cases during all of September.

Officials say most of the new cases have been in Beni, where experts had to suspend Ebola containment efforts for days after a deadly rebel attack.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization noted that all of the health workers who have caught Ebola in this epidemic have been infected outside of hospitals or clinics, meaning that the virus is spreading in the community.

In August, four people have tested positive for Ebola in eastern Congo just days after another outbreak that killed 33 people in the northwest was declared over.

Congolese and international health officials were credited with responding rapidly to the last outbreak, including by deploying an experimental vaccine manufactured by Merck, one of several vaccines being developed against Ebola.

Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats and can turn up in bush meat sold at food markets throughout Congo.

Once present in humans, it causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

Additional Reporting by Reuters.

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