Reports from a recent census in the Democratic Republic of Congo reveals that over 440 people have been infected with the Ebola virus, 255 of whom have died. Teams from international medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continue to strengthen their efforts to help bring the epidemic under control.
This is DRC’s tenth and most serious epidemic of Ebola since the virus was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what was then called Zaire. Forty years later, despite a massive and coordinated mobilization by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Congolese Ministry of Health and organizations such as MSF, the deadly virus is still spreading.
The newest urban locations to be affected are the city of Butembo, as well as Kalenguta, 25km to its north, and Katwa, 30km to its east. These places have all seen an increase in confirmed cases of Ebola as well as some resistance from the community. For now, the number of cases in Butembo’s city centre is low, but cases are rising quickly in its eastern suburbs and outlying isolated districts.