The Ebola virus disease is spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo at its fastest rate, but according to the World Health Organization.
At least 72 new Ebola cases were confirmed last week by the WHO.
Since the Ebola epidemic was declared in Congo in August 2018, the number of confirmed cases reached 1,023 as of March 31st. The most affected areas are the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.
"This outbreak has been going on for too long. We owe it to the people of North Kivu to work with them in solidarity not only to end this epidemic as soon as possible, but to build health systems that address the many other threats to health they face on a daily basis ", according to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, general director of the WHO.
Faster outbreak rate
Less than three weeks ago, the WHO stated that the Ebola epidemic was largely contained and could be discontinued by September of this year. The number of weekly cases was then halved to around 25 compared to 50 cases registered each week in late January and mid-November.
However, the number of cases recorded a record 57 the following week and then increased to 72 last week. This marked a halt in efforts to respond to the epidemic.
"People are becoming infected without access to response measures," said Christian Lindmeier, spokesman for the WHO.
The current epidemic is believed to have killed 676 people and infected 406 others. About 331 patients recovered.
Fatal Ebola virus
Ebola virus disease, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a serious disease in humans.
According to an information sheet of the WHO, so far five species of Ebolavirus have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Tai Forest. The first three species of viruses have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa.
Ebola appeared for the first time in 1976 in South Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Epidemics then began in remote villages near tropical rain forests. The first outbreak in the Congo occurred in a village near the Ebola river where the disease took its name.
The virus is transmitted from wild animals to humans and often leads to death if it is not treated. Fruit bats are said to be natural hosts of Ebola.
This contagious disease spreads to the human population through human-to-human transmission through direct contact with blood, secretions, organs and body fluids. Contact with materials and surfaces contaminated with body fluids and secretions from an Ebola infected person can also transmit the virus.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa between 2014 and 2016 caused by the Zaire ebolavirus species has also spread to the main urban areas.