Ever multi-drug Ebola trial in Congo

02 December, 2018, 12:41 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • Ebola kills 198 in Democratic Republic of Congo

Day by day, reports by health organisations note one new difficulty after another in this latest outbreak, even as their work sets milestones that have given new hope in the fight against one of the world's most notorious diseases.

Ebola caused global alarm in 2014 when the world's worst outbreak began in West Africa, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

"Our country is struck with Ebola outbreaks too often, which also means we have unique expertise in combating it", he said.

WHO's emergencies chief, Dr. Peter Salama, called it a "sad toll" as Congo's health ministry announced the number of cases has reached 426. Some 365 of those cases and 189 of the deaths are confirmed.

The Ebola cases surfaced in Democratic Republic of the Congo's war-torn eastern provinces, North Kivu and Ituri, where rebels are waging a bloody guerrilla campaign against government forces.

The case fatality rate is now 57 percent, which the International Rescue Committee, a nongovernmental aid organization, said is higher than typically seen at this stage of an Ebola outbreak, especially since a vaccine for prevention as well as experimental drug treatment are available for the first time. Some field activities, including vaccination, were temporarily halted in Beni, the outbreak's epicenter, on November 17 following attacks by an armed rebel group.

This is the first time this turbulent part of northeastern Congo has had an Ebola outbreak.


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

'No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are now experiencing, ' said Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the DRC's health minister.

Given the complications, this outbreak will last at least another six months before it can be contained, World Health Organization emergencies chief Dr Peter Salama has predicted.

Ebola has killed 240 people and infected more than 400 since July in an outbreak that shows little sign of abating.

'We must continue to pursue a very dynamic response that requires permanent readjustments and real ownership at the community level'. "These trials will contribute to building that knowledge, while we continue to respond on every front to bring the current outbreak to an end".

On Thursday, the ministry said a group of youths broke into a morgue, stole the body of an Ebola victim and returned it to their family.

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