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Wed May 15, 2019, 03:23 AM

'Terrifying' Ebola epidemic out of control in DRC, say experts

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/15/terrifying-ebola-epidemic-out-of-control-in-drc-say-experts

'Terrifying' Ebola epidemic out of control in DRC, say experts

Sarah Boseley Health editor

Wed 15 May 2019 05.00 BST

An Ebola epidemic in a conflict-riven region of Democratic Republic of Congo is out of control and could become as serious as the outbreak that devastated three countries in west Africa between 2013 and 2016, experts and aid chiefs have warned.

New cases over the past month have increased at the fastest rate since the outbreak began last year, as aid agencies struggle to enact a public health response in areas that have suffered decades of neglect and conflict, with incredibly fragile health systems and regular outbreaks of deadly violence involving armed groups.
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More than 1,600 people have been infected with the Ebola virus in the North Kivu region of DRC and more than 1,000 have died so far the great majority women and children. At least 10 months since the outbreak began, the numbers are rising steadily and the fatality rate is higher than in previous outbreaks, at about 67%.
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IRC teams, who have had three triage units in health centres burned down, have warned that the situation in North Kivu is increasingly volatile and is making progress against the disease impossible. Last week, fighters from the armed Mai-Mai rebel group attacked a treatment centre in Butembo, one of the towns at the centre of the crisis. This week, two patients were killed during an assault on a treatment centre in Katwa, the second such incident in the town this month.
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