Death toll tops 200 in DR Congo Ebola outbreak

The protective suits are vital and all areas of skin must be covered

"Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit even lost their lives in an attack", the AP reports.

An official of the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, has said the country is anxious about the outbreak of Ebola in conflict-hit eastern Congo.

Kalenga said no other epidemic in the world is as complex as the current one.

In its latest update, the health ministry said 291 cases had been confirmed and 201 deaths had been recorded.

This is Congo's 10th outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified in Yambuku.

However, health minister Oly Ilunga said armed rebels were continuing to harass medical teams. Ebola is spread via small amounts of bodily fluid and infection often proves fatal.Early symptoms are flu-like, followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, a rash and internal and external bleeding.

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The UN Stabilisation Mission in DRC, MONUSCO, said it has taken an active approach in recent weeks to quell armed group activity in the North Kivu area, and protect Beni from conflict.

A vaccination programme has so far inoculated about 25,000 people.

With over 300 cases the epidemic also ranks as third worst in the history of the continent, following the 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa where over 28,000 cases were confirmed and an outbreak in Uganda in 2000 involving 425 cases.

"When there is an attack, the operation actually freezes".

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, WHO and partners are using community surveillance in areas which are hard for outsiders to navigate, allowing workers to trace the contacts of anyone who has been infected. Of the 284 confirmed cases, 97 have survived. "And the other, the second problem, is that more cases are generated because we can't vaccinate them", he said.

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