Congo: UN Employee Tests Positive for Ebola as Death Toll Hits 125

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GOMA – The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo says a United Nations employee is among the latest individuals to test positive for Ebola as death toll from an Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo rises to 125.

Officials from World Health Organization (WHO) and Congolese health workers are trying to contain the situation in eastern Congo where the virus is quickly spreading.

This week, WHO warned that Ebola outbreak in DRC is expected to last another three to four months and could, spread at any time to Uganda or Rwanda.

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The WHO said on Thursday that the neighbouring countries are well prepared but have not yet approved the use of a vaccine.

The army in DRC has said the efforts to contain the disease are being hampered by violence in the region, where dozens of militia groups carry out frequent attacks.

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“From the beginning of this month, a large increase in the number of new cases has been observed, mainly in Beni,” the ministry said in a statement.

The outbreak is concentrated in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in eastern Congo.

The World Health Organization has called for urgent funding to help curb the disease’s spread.

The response to the outbreak is “becoming increasingly undermined by security challenges in at-risk areas, particularly Beni,” the WHO said in a statement published Friday.

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It cited “incidents of conflict between rebel and government forces, and pockets of community push-back.”

The rising number of cases is “likely underestimated given expected delays in case reporting, the ongoing detection of sporadic cases, and security concerns which limit contact tracing and investigation of alerts,” according to the WHO.

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