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Ebola death toll crosses 1,500 mark in DRC

  • 24 Jun 2019

Of 2,239 recorded cases, 1,506 people have died in a nearly 10-month-old outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministry says.

A health worker in Ebola protective gear at the entrance of the Biosecure Emergency Care Unit at the ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) Ebola treatment centre in Beni, DRC. March 30, 2019. ( Reuters )

More than 1,500 people have died in a nearly 10-month-old outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the country's health ministry said on Monday.

As of Sunday, 1,506 people have died out of 2,239 recorded cases, it said.

Earlier this month, the virus killed two from a family in neighbouring Uganda who had travelled to the DRC.

Ebola spreads among humans through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person, or objects contaminated by such fluids.

'Worst outbreak' 

The current outbreak in the DRC is the worst in recorded history after an epidemic that struck Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone between 2014-2016, killing more than 11,300 people.

Chronic violence and militia activity in Ituri and North Kivu, as well as hostility to medical teams among local people, have hampered the response.

The United Nations in May nominated an emergency coordinator to deal with the crisis. 

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this month that the outbreak currently did not represent a global threat.

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