Congo's Ebola outbreak on track to become country's second largest

Harrison Cook - Print  | 

The current Ebola outbreak hitting the Democratic Republic of Congo will be the second-largest outbreak of its kind if armed militia groups, violence and kidnapping continue to hinder infection control efforts, according to Reuters.

Here are three things to know:

1. Fighting between rival militia groups is steadily becoming worse. They fight to seize control of land and resources, including vaccinations and Ebola treatments. The same armed groups have also kidnapped Ebola patients and health workers.

"Sometimes the insecurity pushes us not to respond to calls, and not to go into certain areas for days," Mimi Kambere, emergency response coordinator for the nonprofit group Oxfam, told Reuters.

2. Political instability fuels the Ebola outbreak, because politicians are exploiting misinformation and fear among locals ahead of the country's presidential election in December.

3. So far, 422 infected people remain in the Congo. About 241 have died from Ebola in the last four months. The current outbreak, starting in August will become the second-largest disease outbreak if the number of cases exceeds the 425 cases recorded in Uganda in 2000.

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