Ebola claims four more lives as death toll hits 82 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ebola claims four more lives as death toll hits 82 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in latest deadly outbreak

  • There have been 122 reported cases of Ebola in the central African country
  • September 1 marked a year since the deadly virus outbreak was declared
  • The WHO says the country’s efforts to beat the virus are a ‘global first’
  • e-mail


Ebola has now killed 82 people in an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Four more people have died since Monday and 11 new cases have been reported since August 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.

In a desperate attempt to contain the outbreak, aid workers have educated nearly 2.5 million people about how to reduce the risk of spreading the lethal virus.

But officials admitted it is becoming hard to track where the infection is being transmitted because the outbreak is near a dangerous conflict zone.

Saturday, September 1, marked a month since the beginning of the outbreak and 122 cases of Ebola have been reported – 91 of those confirmed.

Nearly 70 per cent of people thought to have been infected have died of the disease, but DRC health officials are rolling out experimental drugs to treat patients, and at least two people have recovered following treatment.

The WHO’s latest situation report on the outbreak, released yesterday, said ‘recent trends suggest control measures are working’.

At least 122 people have been infected with Ebola in the outbreak in the north-east of Democratic Republic of the Congo since it was first declared on August 1

The Ebola virus is spreading near the city of Beni in the North Kivu region in the DRC’s north-east, near the border with Uganda.

Some 16 health workers have caught the virus and one has died from it.

Since the outbreak began, officials have identified 4,296 people who have been in contact with those who caught the virus. More than half of those people are still being monitored.

  • Leading British surgeon whose hands were slowly being… Desperate mothers who are rationed to one round of IVF are… Common painkiller prescribed to MILLIONS in the UK for gout… Four in ten British women do not do enough exercise to stay…

Share this article

And the country’s efforts to keep the outbreak from spiralling out of control have been praised as a ‘global first and a ray of hope’ by the WHO.

UNICEF this week said it has now reached 2,454,000 people with its Ebola prevention messages in the past month.

‘An increasing number of communities are now aware about Ebola and how to prevent its transmission,’ said Dr Gianfranco Rotigliano, a UNICEF representative.


122 cases of Ebola have been reported

91 of those cases are confirmed

31 are ‘probable’ Ebola cases 

82 people have died of the virus

62 of cases have been in women

16 health workers have caught Ebola

One health worker as died 

4,296 people have been in contact with Ebola patients

2,454,000 people have been reached by UNICEF’s Ebola prevention messages

11 million people live in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of DRC, where the outbreak is taking place 

Source: World Health Organization 

‘The active involvement of concerned communities is key to stopping the spread of the disease.

‘We are working closely with them to promote hand-washing and good hygiene practices, and to identify and assist people that might be infected with the virus.’

At-risk populations are being reached through community engagement, radio, door-to-door activities, church meetings and adolescent groups, and prevention messages are shared in four different languages.

Last Friday, the WHO said there are still ‘substantial risks’ in trying to beat the Ebola outbreak in the east of DRC.  

The UN agency said that although efforts to stop the virus spreading are working, it is proving hard to keep track of where the virus is active. 

Four of 13 recent cases in the city of Beni were not previously identified as contacts of other patients, meaning officials don’t know how they were exposed to Ebola.

An important part of preventing the spread of the virus is monitoring people who have been in contact with others infected with the fever, to make sure they don’t develop symptoms and spread the infection.   

If people develop the infection without coming into contact with previous patients it could mean the virus is coming from elsewhere.

This makes it harder for health workers to track down and contain all the sources of the fast-spreading disease.  

The WHO also reports ‘sporadic instances’ of high-risk behaviors like unsafe burials, which could worsen the outbreak because Ebola can still be caught from corpses.  

Some 82 people have died in the most recent Ebola outbreak taking place in the North Kivu province in the north-east of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Pictured: Health workers carry the body of a suspected victim last Wednesday, August 22, in Mangina, a town near Beni

But there are rays of hope for the troubled African country – two infected patients have recovered after being given an experimental therapeutic drug.  

The UN health agency in a statement said most patients recently admitted to Ebola clinics were given experimental treatments and that many contacts of cases have been immunized with a novel vaccine.

More than 3,400 people have been given medicines and experts say the DRC’s medical assault on the infection is a ‘global first’. 

Two of the first 10 people to have been given an experimental cure known as mAb114 made a recovery from the deadly infection.

In a statement the DRC’s health ministry confirmed: ‘These two people are among the first 10 patients to have received the therapeutic molecule mAb114.’ 

Developed in the US, mAb114 was the first of five experimental treatments the DRC has begun using in the outbreak.

The health ministry has confirmed four other experimental drugs have been approved for use in the country – ZMapp, Remdesivir, Favipiravir and Regn3450-3471-347. 

The World Health Organization said the country’s attempts to stop the virus were ‘a global first, and a ray of hope for people with the disease.’

The mayor in the city of Beni, Jean Edmond Nyonyi Masumbuko Bwanakawa, has announced treatment for Ebola will be free in the region for three months.

He hopes the move will encourage people to seek immediate medical help and not be put off by a fear of having to pay for healthcare. 

An Ebola patient is checked by two medical workers after being admitted into a Biosecure Emergency Care Unit (CUBE) in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The current Ebola outbreak is the 10th to strike the Congo since 1976, when the virus was first identified and named after the Ebola River in the north of the country.

The outbreak was announced just days after another was declared over in the north-west of the Congo at the start of August. 

Yet the new outbreak has already dwarfed the one earlier this summer and has stoked more fears among the medical community.

Virologists feared it would be ‘reminiscent’ of the 2014 Ebola pandemic, which decimated West Africa and killed 11,000 people. 

There are also concerns that conflict in the region might make the outbreak hard to control, as the infected could be displaced to refugee camps where the virus can thrive. 

Aid workers have been told they will have to navigate their response among more than 100 armed groups.

A WHO spokesperson said: ‘This is an active conflict zone. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population.’ 


Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, killed at least 11,000 across the world after it decimated West Africa and spread rapidly over the space of two years.

That pandemic was officially declared over back in January 2016, when Liberia was announced to be Ebola-free by the WHO.

The country, rocked by back-to-back civil wars that ended in 2003, was hit the hardest by the fever, with 40 per cent of the deaths having occurred there.

Sierra Leone reported the highest number of Ebola cases, with nearly of all those infected having been residents of the nation.


An analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the outbreak began in Guinea – which neighbours Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A team of international researchers were able to trace the pandemic back to a two-year-old boy in Meliandou – about 400 miles (650km) from the capital, Conakry.

Emile Ouamouno, known more commonly as Patient Zero, may have contracted the deadly virus by playing with bats in a hollow tree, a study suggested.


Figures show nearly 29,000 people were infected from Ebola – meaning the virus killed around 40 per cent of those it struck.

Cases and deaths were also reported in Nigeria, Mali and the US – but on a much smaller scale, with 15 fatalities between the three nations.

Health officials in Guinea reported a mysterious bug in the south-eastern regions of the country before the WHO confirmed it was Ebola. 

Ebola was first identified by scientists in 1976, but the most recent outbreak dwarfed all other ones recorded in history, figures show.


Scientists believe Ebola is most often passed to humans by fruit bats, but antelope, porcupines, gorillas and chimpanzees could also be to blame.

It can be transmitted between humans through blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of people – and surfaces – that have been infected.


The WHO warns that there is ‘no proven treatment’ for Ebola – but dozens of drugs and jabs are being tested in case of a similarly devastating outbreak.

Hope exists though, after an experimental vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, protected nearly 6,000 people. The results were published in The Lancet journal. 

Source: Read Full Article