KINSHASA (Reuters) – The current ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the worst in the history of the country with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry announced late Friday.
It is believed that a haemorrhagic fever killed 198 people in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, where attacks by armed groups and the resistance of the community to health officials complicated the response.
The Congo suffered 10 ebola epidemics since the virus was discovered near the Ebola River in 1976.
"The current epidemic is the worst in the history of the DRC," said Jessica Ilunga, spokesman for the Reuters ministry.
With over 300 cases, the epidemic is also ranked third in the worst in the history of the continent after the outbreak of 2013-2016. Years in West Africa, where over 28,000 cases were confirmed and an outbreak in Uganda in 2000, including 425 cases.
General Director of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhan Ghebreiesus said on Thursday that security was the main challenge in the current epidemic, after which there was a lack of trust in the community.
"When the attack is attacked, the operation is actually freezing, so we hold the operation. And when the operation stops, the virus takes precedence and it affects us in two ways," he told reporters in Kinshasa.
"And one is caught on the last load. Because when operations are stopped there is always a return of vaccinations or a duration of contact, and another, another problem, that more cases are generated because we can not vaccinate them," he said.
The confirmation of new cases was accelerated in the last month, and an expert panel of experts from the World Health Organization said in October that the epidemic is likely to worsen significantly unless an answer is strengthened.
(Report by Giulia Paravicini, Additional Report by Fiston Mahamba, Editing by Alessandra Prentice and Hugh Lavson)