At least 680 people have been infected with the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history, with 414 deaths so far, and the first Ebola outbreak in an active war zone, DRC’s eastern North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
So far, the outbreak has not affected DRC’s biggest cities. But Ebola in Kayina “raises the alarm” for Ebola reaching Goma, Peter Salama, the head of the new Health Emergencies Program at the World Health Organization, told Vox on Friday
Health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have a long road ahead of them before being able to clear the deadly Ebola outbreak.
That’s according to the World Health Organization Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama, who spoke with the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
He says the outbreak is taking place in what he calls “the most complicated setting we’ve ever experienced.” A number of issues have fueled the spread of the outbreak including violence and vaccine resistance.
Salama says it will take at least six more months to get the outbreak under control.
As of Thursday, there are over 600 confirmed Ebola cases and over 400 deaths since the outbreak started back in August.
Ebola virus disease, which causes fever, severe headache and in some cases hemorrhaging, most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates, such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees. There are five subtypes of Ebola virus, four of which can be transmitted from wild animals to people, who can then spread the disease person-to-person
The current outbreak is caused by the Zaire ebolavirus, which has the highest mortality rate, ranging from 60% to 90%, according to WHO