WHO: 1 in 4 DRC Ebola cases could be undetected

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that one in four Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could be going undetected.

The DRC is currently gripped by the second-largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded with the confirmed number of cases exceeding 2,000 last week. However, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan, says a quarter of all cases in the outbreak could be going undetected.

A quarter of cases undetected

“We believe we are probably detecting in excess of 75 percent of cases. We may be missing up to a quarter of cases,” Michael Ryan told reporters at a press conference in Geneva on Thursday.

“We must get earlier detection of cases, [and] have more exhaustive identification of contacts.”

More than 2,000 cases have been confirmed in the DRC and 1,357 deaths have been recorded during the outbreak, which was first discovered in the DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces in August last year.

The number of new cases being reported each week has drastically risen in recent months although WHO says there are early signs this intensity could be easing.

Despite early efforts to contain the virus proving relatively successful, efforts have been hampered by violence across parts of the DRC and mistrust of health officials.

Featured image: By WHO – Open Clip Arthttp://www.who.int/about/licensing/emblem/en/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=437462

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.