The Ebola outbreak in the Congo has just crossed the 2,000 case threshold. So far more than 65% of those infected have died. Those battling the disease also face the threat of death, as only two weeks ago the third attack was made against a burial team, and health workers have also been killed. Medical outposts have been looted.
This most recent epidemic of this hemorrhagic fever has just entered its tenth month. The spread of the disease has been facilitated by militia attacks on medical treatment centers and hostility by the local people towards the medical personnel. Over a hundred health workers have been infected.
There have also been arson threats against health care facilities, forcing personnel to stop wearing personal protective equipment and making them reluctant to institute infection prevention and control practices. Between January and early May 2019, there were 42 attacks on health facilities, with 85 workers either injured or killed, according to WHO figures.
The first outbreak of Ebola in the Congo was recorded in 1976. Another outbreak that was active between 2014 to 2016 left over 11,000 people dead.
Recent cases are still occurring in virus hotspots, including Katwa, Mabalako, Kalunguta, Beni, and Butembo.
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by Marlene Pardo Pellicer