DRC: Ebola cases surge past 780, experts call for emergency declaration

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More than 780 cases of Ebola have been recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since an outbreak was declared in August.

The crisis is now so severe that a group of international health experts is calling upon the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare an international public health emergency, amid fears the outbreak could spread to surrounding nations.

DRC Ebola crisis becoming an international concern

Since the DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak was announced in August, 481 people are known to have died from the disease and the total number of registered cases is approaching the 800 region. The crisis has been complicated further by outbreaks of violence and mistrust among affected communities towards emergency personnel.

Some health workers themselves have even refused a controversial vaccine being used to prevent the spread of the disease.

WHO’s emergency committee met in October to reassess the status of the DRC’s Ebola crisis but the number of cases has tripled since then. The outbreak has now spread to 18 zones and experts warn there is a serious danger the disease could spread beyond the country’s borders into Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

The current outbreak is the DRC’s 10th since the disease was first identified in the country in 1876. However, this is the first time Ebola has been discovered in the Noth Kivu region in the DRC’s northeast.

Featured image: Public domain

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.