DR Congo Ebola Death Toll Crosses 2,000 Ahead Of UN Chief's Visit
Beni, DR Congo, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Aug, 2019 ) :The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo showed no signs of easing Friday on the eve of the UN chief's visit to the country, with the death toll from the highly contagious virus crossing 2,000 and a new fatality in neighbouring Uganda.
The latest casualty in Uganda was a nine-year-old girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo, reviving fears that the virus could cross the porous borders of the central African country, where it erupted in August last year.
The toll is a setback coming a day before UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visits for a first-hand assessment of the fightback.
Guterres wants to "express support for the teams engaged in the Ebola fightback," the UN said.
More than 200,000 people have been vaccinated during DR Congo's tenth and most serious Ebola epidemic.
Containment efforts have been hindered by conflict in eastern DRC as well as attacks on Ebola fighters within affected communities.
"For the moment, the situation is better than the past weeks. But in certain zones, there are many cases of community resistance. These are the zones which have brought forth the most confirmed cases," Robert Bahati from Oxfam said.
"As a result, those who came in contact with confirmed cases have not been followed up," he said.
"Out of the city's 14 zones, there are only four which continue to pose problems," he said.
She was subsequently isolated and transferred to an Ebola treatment unit.
The pathogen causes fever, vomiting and severe diarrhoea, often followed by kidney and liver failure, and internal and external bleeding.
The disease is spread by contact with infected bodily fluids and is fought with the time-honoured but laborious techniques of tracing contacts and quarantining them.
- Stepped up checks - The WHO has declared the epidemic a "public health emergency of international concern".
Screening is vital, but imperfect.
Ebola can take up to three weeks to incubate and cannot be spread until the infected person has symptoms, the WHO says.
But it can be difficult to clinically tell Ebola from malaria, typhoid fever or meningitis.
But it is not without inconvenience.
"Sometimes we get to school late, because we have to be in line for checking and it takes time," said Doreane Kambari, a 16-year-old attending high school in Bwera in Kasese.