Ebola-hit: Congo to deploy security forces to protect health workers

Ebola-hit: Congo to deploy security forces to protect health workers

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to last another three to four months and could spread at any time to Uganda or Rwanda.

The International Rescue Committee said it was "alarmed" that there were 33 new cases between October 1 and Tuesday, versus 41 cases during all of September.

The outbreak is centered in the city of Beni, where rebels killed at least 18 people in an attack last month, forcing health workers to suspend operations for several days. With multiple armed groups active in the region, health officials have said they are effectively operating in a war zone.

The World Health Organization says the risk of the deadly Ebola virus spreading from Congo is now "very high" after two confirmed cases were discovered near the Uganda border.

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"... The DRC's ministry of health said the recent spike in cases in these areas confirms that case contacts during the initial wave of cases in August and September who avoided follow-up and vaccination have now been infected".

The WHO cited transport links and population movements as potential risk factors, while stressing that the global risk remained low.

Although the United Nations health agency said experts this week were monitoring more than 2,100 contacts of Ebola cases in Beni, the outbreak's epicenter, it said it had lost track of another 40. As of Friday 29 September 2018, there were 124 confirmed Ebola cases including 71 deaths.

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