Death toll from Ebola outbreak in Congo climbs above 2,000

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The year-long Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, has climbed above 2,000, government data showed on Friday.

In total, health officials in DR Congo said there are now “2,006 deaths since the outbreak in August last year.

“Two thousand deaths means that there is a problem,” said Timothée Buliga, a priest, returning home from his church in Goma.

“We need to reach the point where we reject Ebola, say no and eradicate it definitively,” the priest added.

A health emergency team established by the government to oversee Ebola response said the number of confirmed and probable cases is now more than 3,000 in what has become the second-worst epidemic of the virus on record. The first Ebola outbreak 2013–2016 reportedly killed 11,300 people.

The new data was released barely a day after a 9-year-old girl died in neighboring Uganda after testing positive to the virus. The little girl had tested positive for the virus after returning to Uganda from Congo.

Despite the development and use of supposedly effective vaccine, and other precautionary measures, health workers in Congo have struggled to stop the virus spreading in remote and conflict-hit areas of eastern Congo.

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The World Health Organization, WHO, expressed concern last week about the widening geographic reach of the virus. However, they said the virus has not gained a foothold in the major city of Goma, despite that fact that four cases were recorded in the city July and early August 2018.

Goma, a lakeside city of nearly 2 million people on the Rwandan border, had been on high alert for weeks after a gold miner with a large family infected several people with Ebola before dying himself, Reuters reported.


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