Africa

More than 1500 people have died from Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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The Ebola death toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo has tragically surpassed the 1500 mark.

More than 1500 people have died in a nearly 10-month-old outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministry said Monday.

As of Sunday, 1506 people have died out of 2239 recorded cases.

Earlier this month, the virus claimed two lives in neighbouring Uganda among a family who had travelled to the DRC.

A woman and her children wait to receive Ebola vaccinations, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo.
A woman and her children wait to receive Ebola vaccinations, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo.
AP

Nearly 141,000 people have been vaccinated in the affected eastern DRC provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Ebola spreads among humans through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person, or objects contaminated by such fluids.

The current outbreak in the DRC is the worst on record after an epidemic that struck mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone between 2014-2016, killing more than 11,300 people.

Congolese police guard a health center while Ebola vaccinations take place.
Congolese police guard a health center while Ebola vaccinations take place.
AP

Chronic violence and militia activity in Ituri and North Kivu, as well as hostility to medical teams among local people, have hampered the response. 

The United Nations in May nominated an emergency coordinator to deal with the crisis.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this month the outbreak currently did not represent a global threat. 

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