19 die of Ebola in DR Congo

Ebola outbreak kills 19 under one week in DR Congo

DR Congo Ebola outbreak second largest in history: WHO

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now the second biggest and worst in history after the 2014 West Africa outbreak.

The outbreak, which was declared on August 1, has 198 confirmed deaths, with another 47 probable ones, Congo's health ministry said, as quoted in the AP report.

Ebola is believed to have killed 245 people in North Kivu and Ituri provinces where attacks by armed groups and community resistance to health officials have hampered the response.

Global health experts are urging the Trump administration to allow USA government disease specialists - "some of the world's most experienced" - to return to northeastern Congo to help fight the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.

In a separate statement on Thursday, WHO said so far 36 Ebola cases have been reported among newborn babies and children under 2.

It is not clear how many Centres for Disease Control and Prevention workers are now forced to tackle the outbreak from DRC's capital, Kinshasa, almost 1 600km away. More than 37,000 people have been vaccinated for the disease in the outbreak zone since August 8, according to the health ministry's daily bulletin on Thursday.

'While our focus remains on bringing this outbreak to an end, the launch of the randomised control trial is an important step toward finally finding an Ebola treatment that will save lives, ' said World Health Organization director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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'These trials will contribute to building that knowledge, while we continue to respond on every front to bring the current outbreak to an end'.

He explained this had happened before in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, when people with malaria were filling ebola treatment centres during the West African outbreak in 2014.

A World Health Organization worker administers a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating an outbreak of Ebola in the port city of Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 21 May 2018.

Some 38 people died after they had a hemorrhagic fever, but it couldn't be verified whether they died of Ebola because they were buried without an autopsy.

He added: 'Since their arrival in the region, the response teams have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment, and kidnapping. People who have been in contact with those persons are then also vaccinated.

'No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are now experiencing, ' said Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the DRC's health minister. "Yes we need to see more funds and resources mobilized, but also address the impacts of the protracted conflict". "Is there potential for requiring global response?"

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