Congo’s Ebola outbreak now 2nd largest in history, WHO says

Ebola outbreak kills 19 under one week in DR Congo

Ebola outbreak kills 19 under one week in DR Congo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially announced the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the second largest and second deadliest in history, behind the devastating West Africa outbreak in 2014 that killed thousands.

New statements in two top medical journals this week are calling on the U.S.to change its mind and send its experts back where they are sorely needed.

Malaria can normally be diagnosed with a rapid blood test, but the risk of ebola transmission means health workers have to rely on an assessment of symptoms, Mr Hoyer added.

Rebel groups attacking health workers and open hostility by locals have been considered as serious challenges, Ebola experts have said, as per the report.

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The Rescue team said the DR Congo Ebola has reached 426 cases, surpassing the number of cases in the 2000-2001 Uganda outbreak and the 2014 West Africa case which killed over 11,000 people.

245 deaths (198 confirmed and 47 probable) have been recorded to date.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, one group stated, as quoted in the report, that the US government weeks ago ordered all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention personnel, considered "some of the world's most experienced outbreak experts", from Congo's outbreak zone because of security concerns.

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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They are also awash with violence and insecurity, particularly in the mineral-rich borderlands where militia activity has surged over the past year, all of which complicates the response to the outbreak. The CDC supports the expertise of the State Department and Department of Defense "in determining locations where it is safe to position our staff".

"The new medicines that we're using, they're not approved for Ebola because there's not enough clinical trials to show they're effective", the WHO's Janet Diaz told NPR's All Things Considered earlier this month. Teams with the World Health Organisation and DRC's health ministry venture out on virus containment missions accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers or other armed security in areas where gunfire echoes daily.

The WHO is warning health officials in adjacent countries that the North Kivu outbreak, which is taking place in a war zone, is likely to continue for months. That's not a welcome thought to neighboring Uganda and Rwanda.

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