Ten key facts on Ebola, a year into Congo epidemic

by Sonia Elks | @SoniaElks | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 1 August 2019 15:29 GMT

More than 2,500 people have been infected in what is now the world's second worst outbreak of the disease in history

By Sonia Elks

LONDON, Aug 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More help is needed to beat Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, humanitarian and medical groups said on Thursday, as they marked a year since the epidemic was declared.

More than 2,500 people have been infected in what is now the world's second worst outbreak of the disease in history.

Here are some key facts and figures about Ebola:

1. A total of 2,701 people have been infected in the current Ebola outbreak in Congo, of whom 1,813 have died. Almost a third of cases were children.

2. Nearly 150 of the infections have been among health workers and more than one in four of them died.

3. 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.

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

5. The average Ebola fatality rate is about 50% - though it has varied from a quarter to 90% across different outbreaks.

6. Two weeks ago, the current Ebola outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the WHO.

7. The number of cases reached 1,000 in March and has more than doubled in the four months since then.

8. Since early June, the number of new cases notified per week has remained high, averaging between 75 and 100 each week.

9. Several Ebola cases have been recorded across the border in Uganda, while Rwanda is closely watching the recent cases in the Congo's border city of Goma.

10. There have been at least 198 attacks on Ebola health facilities and health workers in the Congo since January, as health workers face a militia violence and local mistrust over the response.

Sources: World Health Organization, Congo Ministry of Health, Medecins Sans Frontieres

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by 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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