Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak now second-worst in history

The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo is the 2nd deadliest in history and end is not in sight

"The risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as to neighboring countries, remains very high", said the World Health Organization in a written statement Thursday.

The U.S. experts have been sidelined for weeks, ordered away from the region because of State Department security concerns. Health workers have compared the area to a war zone.

A deadly rebel attack in September forced health workers to halt vaccinations and the tracing of people who have been in contact with suspected Ebola patients. Two top medical journals this week have published commentaries calling on the U.S.to change its mind and send them back where they are sorely needed.

Michelle Gayer, Senior Director of Emergency Health at the International Rescue Committee, said, "This tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak.we're witnessing how the dynamics of conflict pose a different kind of threat: a protracted outbreak is highly likely and the end is simply not in sight".

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, one group stated, as quoted in the report, that the US government weeks ago ordered all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention personnel, considered "some of the world's most experienced outbreak experts", from Congo's outbreak zone because of security concerns.

This is the 10th Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in DRC since 1976, accounting for almost half off all outbreaks. Teams with the World Health Organisation and DRC's health ministry venture out on virus containment missions accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers or other armed security in areas where gunfire echoes daily.

Salama of World Health Organization predicted that the outbreak in the northeastern part of the country will last at least another six months before it can be contained. We fear that hundreds of more people will lose their lives in this outbreak.

The latest outbreak is the tenth in DR Congo since Ebola was first detected there in 1976.

The CDC's experts have rich experience in surveillance, treatment and lab testing, Mearns said, adding that some of that work is now being done from afar.

This is the first time this turbulent part of northeastern Congo has had an Ebola outbreak.

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