The latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DNC) has claimed 67 lives, up from 55, according to Robert Redfield, director of the CDC. On Friday the WHO said that the virus has spread to an area of “high security risk,” and that ongoing local conflicts have made finding and monitoring infected people extremely difficult.
“Really, in two weeks, we’ve gone from 24 cases to 105 cases,” said Redfield, who just returned from the hot zone where an outbreak centered in North Kivu is responsible for 105 confirmed or suspected cases, according to the Washington Post. There are currently 77 confirmed cases, 28 probable cases in which biological samples are not available for laboratory testing, while 3,000 people have received an experimental Ebola vaccine.
Total of 105 cases (77 confirmed & 28 probable), including 67 deaths. In addition, 10 suspect cases are under investigation
Redfield said the rapid spread of the disease was primarily because many health workers at a hospital in the town of Mangina, where the outbreak started, contracted the virus after treating early patients without recognizing that they had Ebola. The disease spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of victims, putting health workers and patients’ family members at greatest risk, notes the Post.
“In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have greater clarity,” about the scope of the outbreak, said Redfield.
In response, neighboring Uganda has beefed up precautions at the border, making it more difficult for the roughly 19,000 people who travel from Congo’s North Kivu province across the border into the Ugandan town of Mpondwe to shop at an open-air market.
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