- An Ebola outbreak in DRC has now killed over 1,000 people.
- The executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme said in a press conference on Friday that the organisation expects, “a scenario of continued intense transmission.”
- Containment of the virus has been hampered by armed attacks on treatment centres.
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An outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has claimed 1,000 lives as of Friday, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is worried it will continue to snowball.
Speaking at a press conference early on Friday, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme Michael Ryan said as of May 1, there had been 1,510 cases of Ebola in DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including 994 deaths. Reuters reported later that day that the death toll had exceeded 1,000, making it the second-worst Ebola outbreak on record.
Although more than 100,000 people have already been vaccinated and the WHO is planning to expand its vaccination efforts, Ryan said the organisation fears the situation will worsen. “We are anticipating a scenario of continued intense transmission,” he said.
Treatment centres are not only having to contend with the disease, but also attacks from armed militias.
“Since January we’ve experienced 119 separate attacks, 42 of which have been directly on health facilities with 85 health personnel either injured or killed in those settings. So we are dealing with a difficult and volatile situation,” said Ryan.
“Fundamentally, every time we have managed to regain control over the virus and contain its spread we have suffered major, major security events,” he added.
Last month the WHO said in a press statement that WHO epidemiologist Dr. Richard Mouzoko had been killed by armed men while working to contain the disease.
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