Aug 20, 2019 | Updated: 11:45 AM EDT

Congo's Ebola Outbreak Death Count Now Over 1000

Jun 03, 2019 01:48 PM EDT

Scientists PPE (Ebola)
(Photo : CDC/ Ethleen Lloyd)
Scientist with personal protective equipment (PPE) testing samples for the Ebola virus.

CONGO -- The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has killed more than a thousand infected individuals, with the rate of fatality currently at 66%. Public experts who are on the ground to assess the situation are nervous about the current situation.

While 110 cases were reported to have been properly diagnosed and identified as Ebola, the World Health Organization sends a warning that these numbers might continue to increase unless something is done to face the problem. Sadly, the efforts to deal with the backlog and provide health services to those who need it most have been disrupted by military efforts in the area. This is the second biggest Ebola outbreak in the world.

The worst Ebola Outbreak was recorded between 2014 to 2016 in West Africa. Almost 30,000 people were infected and 11,000 were confirmed dead because of the Ebola virus. Even though the number of deaths in the current outbreak is far from the numbers earlier recorded, health officials on the ground are doing their best to get the information out. Health officials are hoping to gain international attention to spread awareness.

"Whether it would reach the scale of deaths that happened in West Africa or not, we don't know. The only thing we know is that its massive spread is just around the corner. It is expanding and many cases are left unreported," said Jeremy Farrar, the executive from Wellcome Trust.

Perhaps the only thing that makes this outbreak different is that it has been kept and confined within a geographic territory. However, experts are worried that those infected might find their way to neighboring countries like Uganda. By then, this health crisis would be considered an international crisis. The World Health Organization has declined to consider it a global health concern. The agency prefers to avoid unnecessary worldwide alarm for such a health emergency that has not spread outside of Congo just yet.

"The remarkable number of people who were killed by the disease is indeed alarming, but it hasn't spread outside of the geographic territories of Congo," Farrar said.

However, it is important to note that apart from its 66% fatality rate, this current Ebola outbreak appears to be scarier than the last one. Most of its victims are children. In fact, one-third of the deaths are of children under eighteen. Perhaps the only good news is that the medical personnel in the field are already armed with an experimental vaccine provided by Merck to help contain the virus and stop its spread.

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