Congo Ebola Outbreak Becomes Second-Worst In History, IRC Says

Congo Ebola Outbreak Becomes Second-Worst In History, IRC Says

"[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.

"As of today, the outbreak has seen 426 cases of infection, 245 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 57 per cent, " the US humanitarian organisation said in a statement. Some field activities, including vaccination, were temporarily halted in Beni, the outbreak's epicenter, on November 17 following attacks by an armed rebel group.

Ebola was first identified in central Africa in 1976.

Global health experts are urging the Trump administration to allow US government disease specialists to return to northeastern Congo to help fight the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.

Insecurity in the east of the country has affected the Ebola response.

More than 37,000 people have received Ebola vaccinations, and DR Congo has begun the first-ever trial to test the effectiveness and safety of four experimental Ebola drugs.

The alarmingly high number of infected newborns in this outbreak is another concern, and so far a mystery.

It's not clear how many people from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are tackling the outbreak from Congo's capital, almost 1,000 miles away.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) now has 300 specialists deployed to the Central African nation to support the ongoing response efforts, with a focus on Beni as well as the new hotspots Butembo, Kalunguta and Katwa.

According to World Health Organization report, the latest outbreak in Congo, which began in August, has a case fatality rate of 57%.

The WHO said that although the risk of a global spread remains low, the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as to neighboring countries remains "very high".

Children who went to health centers for malaria are believed to have contracted Ebola there, and about half of the people screened in Ebola centers only had malaria, said the WHO.

As per Salama's prediction, the outbreak in northeastern Congo will last at least another six months.

The committee chairman, Robert Steffen, said they came to the decision by looking at three main criteria. Steffen told reporters in a teleconference October 17.

In a situation report released Wednesday, WHO said it is "confident that the outbreak can be contained despite ongoing challenges". "We will not rest until this outbreak is finished".

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