The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on June 1 that a second Ebola outbreak in Congo has occurred. The country is already dealing with the world’s largest measles outbreak, and the coronavirus.
Ebola has been in Congo since August 2018 and 2,243 people have died since the epidemic began there. “This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face. Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. New cases were confirmed in the north of the country near Mbandaka.
Congo is also faced with violence as a 25-year long civil war has dampened efforts to contain the virus. Treatment centers are attacked by militia groups and people fearful of groups avoid seeking medical treatment.
For the coronavirus, the country has 3,000 confirmed cases and 72 deaths. Experts fear that the actual toll might be higher due to limited testing. But measles has killed more Congolese than ebola or coronavirus combined, with 6,779 deaths since 2019 and 369, 520.
“The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak,” WHO said in a statement. World Vision national director in Congo, Anne-Marie Connor, warns of the “quadruple threat,” harming families in the country. The WHO said it would send its teams to provide an additional response.
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