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As cases pass 2,000, key facts about Congo's Ebola epidemic

by Valeria Martinez | Reuters
Tuesday, 4 June 2019 18:09 GMT

The world's second-biggest outbreak has killed 1,346 people since it was detected in August last year

By Valeria Martinez

LONDON, June 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of Ebola cases in Democratic Republic of Congo has topped 2,000, according to new government figures that show the growth of the epidemic is gaining pace.

The world's second-biggest outbreak has killed 1,346 people since it was detected in August last year.

It is the first time Ebola has struck in a conflict zone and the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the outbreak is unlikely to be contained unless violence stops.

Here are some key facts and figures about Ebola:

* The world's worst epidemic of Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, began in Guinea in December 2013 and swept through Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 11,300 people by 2016.

* Ebola causes fever, flu-like pains, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea and spreads among humans through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.

* The world's second-biggest outbreak of Ebola began in August 2018 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, shortly after the country had quashed another outbreak.

* As of June 3, 2019, Congo's health ministry reported 2,008 confirmed and probable cases with a death toll of 1,346.

* A mob killed an Ebola health worker and looted a clinic last week, one of many attacks by civilians and armed groups which have forced health workers to suspend activities and caused the number of cases to spike.

* Between January and early May, there were 42 attacks on health facilities, with 85 workers either injured or killed, according to WHO figures.

* Communities' lack of trust in the responders remains a major obstacle, with many people avoiding treatment because they do not believe Ebola is real, according to Oxfam.

* This is Congo's 10th Ebola outbreak since the virus was discovered there in 1976. (Reporting by Valeria Martinez; Editing by Nellie Peyton and Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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