KINSHASA– The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to more than 200.
The latest outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the worst in the country’s history, the health ministry says.
The ministry said it had recorded 201 deaths from the virus and that 291 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began in August.
About half of the cases were in Beni, a city of 800,000 people, in the North Kivu region.
“In view of these figures, my thoughts and my prayers go to the hundreds of families grieving, to the hundreds of orphans and the families which have been wiped out,” Health Minister Oly Ilunga said.
The United Nation’s Department of Peacekeeping on Friday called on armed groups active in the region not to hinder efforts to fight the disease.
Teams responsible for responding to the outbreak have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment and kidnapping, Ilunga said of the armed groups.
Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit have even lost their lives in an attack, he said.
The outbreak is the 10th in DR Congo since Ebola was first detected there in 1976.
Ebola is a serious infectious disease that can spread rapidly through small amounts of bodily fluid. It causes internal bleeding and can be fatal.
Since a vaccination programme began on Aug 8, more than 25,000 people have been innoculated, the health ministry said earlier this month.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK