The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) estimated the number of likely deaths due to the Ebola outbreak in the northeast of the country in 280, according to the most recent data released by the organization on Sunday, a figure that is already equal to the most deadly outbreak of its history.
In a report issued with numbers in effect until December 7, authorities indicate that the total number of cases is 489, of which 441 are confirmed in laboratory tests and 48 are probable.
This epidemic has already equaled the most lethal in the history of the DRC, which occurred in Yambuku in the north of the country, in late August 1976 and is considered the first outbreak of Ebola registered.
With a death rate of almost 90%, at that time 280 people died from the 318 cases that occurred due to the virus.
The current epidemic is also the second largest in the world in terms of number of cases, surpassing that registered in Uganda between 2000 and 2001, in which 425 cases and 224 deaths were recorded, and only behind that declared in 2014 in Guinea Conakri, from where it was expanded to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
This outbreak was declared on 1 August in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, although control of the epidemic the refusal of some communities to receive treatment and insecurity in the area, where numerous armed groups operate.
This is the second outbreak declared in 2018 in the DRC (just eight days after Congolese health minister Oly Ilunga proclaimed the end of the previous epidemic in the west of the country) and the worst in the history of the DRC in relation to the number of infections.
Since August 8, when vaccinations began, More than 42,000 people were inoculated, mostly in the cities of Mabalako, Beni, Mandima, Katwa and Butembo, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with blood and contaminated body fluids, causes hemorrhagic fever and can reach a 90% mortality rate.
The most devastating global outbreak was declared in March 2014, with cases dating back to December 2013 in Guinea Conakri, a country from which it expanded to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Almost two years later, in January 2016, the WHO declared the end of this epidemic, in which 11,300 people died and more than 28,500 were infected, figures that, according to this UN agency, could be conservative.
Source EFE and Clarín