Congo's Ebola outbreak now second-largest in history, World Health Organization says

Congo's Ebola outbreak now second-largest in history, World Health Organization says

Late on Thursday, officials declared this outbreak second only to the devastating West Africa one that killed more than 11 000 from 2014-2016.

"[We] will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Congolese health ministry to do whatever it takes to bring the outbreak to an end", the World Health Organization's Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response has said in a tweet.

"While the numbers are far from those from West Africa in 2014, we're witnessing how the dynamics of conflict pose a different kind of threat, " Gayer said.

Because the data collected in the North Kivu epidemic is unlikely to be sufficient for a complete study, the country's health ministry said the clinical trial may extend over a five-year period to cover Ebola outbreaks in other countries.

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

The epidemic in Congo with 426 cases, including 245 deaths, surpassed the Uganda outbreak in 2000 with 425 cases, according to World Health Organization report.

By comparing how well these work, scientists will be moving towards curing the disease and slashing the death tolls in future outbreaks.

"We can assume that the suspected Ebola cases to be triaged would at least go down by half", Hoyer told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The many incidents, including physical and verbal abuse, are often caused by groups of youth who are hostile to the response activities.

The WHO confirmed that starting today, health workers planned to go door-to-door for four days in the town of Beni, delivering mosquito nets and anti-malarial drugs to 450,000 people.

'No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are now experiencing, ' said Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the DRC's health minister.

He added that it was "highly likely" that the outbreak would not be under control for another six months.

Ebola has killed 240 people and infected more than 400 since July in an outbreak that shows little sign of abating. Preliminary data indicate a positive impact of public health control measures in Beni and Kalunguta, but community engagement remains a challenge in Katwa, according to a press release from the WHO on Thursday.

Unusually, children are being badly affected because they're catching the virus while in medical clinics for other reasons, experts say.

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