Ebola Outbreak DRC Worst In History

Health workers operate within an ebola safety zone in the Health Center in Iyonda near Mbandaka. The Democratic Republic of Congo

However, eastern Congo is still suffering from outbreaks of Ebola, because the ongoing war between militant groups and the government over control of different regions makes it hard for health workers to battle the virus.

Since a vaccination programme began on August 8, more than 25,000 people have been innoculated, the health ministry said earlier this month.

Recorded to be the deadliest ever in DRC, the minister of health in DRC, Ilunga Kalenga says that the figures now exceed that outbreak.

"Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit have even lost their lives in an attack", he said.

The Ebola virus has killed dozens of people in Africa in the past 5 years, in the East African region the virus has been reported to be in some areas and in the later the virus is reported to be in the Democratic Republic Of Congo where 300 cases have been reported.

The outbreak is in a conflict zone where dozens of armed groups operate. The experimental vaccine is not open to the general public yet and is available only to those who will likely be the first responders in case of an Ebola outbreak.

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Jessica Ilunga, a spokeswoman for the ministry is quoted by Reuters as saying that "The current epidemic is the worst in the history of DRC".

Besides militia attacks that have hindered health workers, the region's high population density and movements across the borders to Uganda and Rwanda pose additional risks the highly lethal disease could spread in the region.

"When there is an attack, the operation (vaccinations) actually freezes. And when the operation stops, the virus gets advantage and it affects us in two ways".

"One is catching up on the backload". 'We must not let our guard down, ' he said.

In October, acceleration of new confirmed cases was reported and unless the response is stepped up by medical teams, the outbreak will significantly worsen warned an emergency committee of World Health Organization experts.

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