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article imageGrowing alarm as Ebola outbreak in DRC reaches 2,000 cases

By Karen Graham     Jun 4, 2019 in Health
Butembo - More than 2,000 people have been infected with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the health ministry has said, and aid agencies expressed concern over the accelerating spread of the disease.
There are now 1,914 confirmed cases of Ebola and 94 probable cases of Ebola in the DRC, making the outbreak of the viral infection the second largest in history since it was declared in August 2018.
To date, the virus has killed over 1,300 people, about 10 persons every day in a region which is very volatile. Rebel attacks are common and community resistance has hurt containment efforts, reports CTV News Canada.
The 2,000 figure is a "sad and frustrating milestone. The insecurity is holding us back," World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva. "Each attack keeps health workers from the crucial work of vaccinating people and tracking thousands of contacts of victims."
Aid groups, including the International Rescue Committee and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said a "reset" is needed in the response to the Ebola outbreak.
Air groups cite the misunderstanding of the people throughout the region over just how dangerous the Ebola virus really is. Coupled with this is the community's mistrust of outsiders, especially after years of attacks by warring rebel groups. This mistrust is especially evident when aid workers are accompanied by Congolese security forces or United Nation peacekeepers.
"This outbreak will only end when communities are engaged and leading the response efforts themselves," Nicole Fassina, Ebola co-ordinator with the IFRC, said in a statement. "Increasing armed protection for health workers could aggravate the tensions," the statement added.
The Guardian is reporting that sadly, many affected communities believe the outbreak is fake news spread by unscrupulous groups and the UN to justify their presence in the country so they can rob the DRC of its minerals. Others believe the outbreak was deliberately created for the same reason.
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