While premeditated attacks on treatment centers have been attributed to armed groups, there have also been a series of spontaneous assaults on health workers. These stem from a deep distrust towards those in the response, and a lack of understanding of what Ebola is.
The DRC is a very large country and these cases are so far confined to the eastern part of the country. This is also the region of the Democratic Republic of Congo that has long been mired in conflict and insecurity. In recent weeks, Ebola treatment centers have been attacked forcing medical staff to suspend operations. Meanwhile, new Ebola cases are confirmed on a nearly daily basis.
It is the second-deadliest and second-largest Ebola outbreak in history, topped only by one in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In recent weeks, more than 40 percent of new cases in the hotspot towns of Katwa and Butembo had no known links to other cases, meaning doctors have lost track of where the virus is spreading.
Eastern parts of Democratic Republic of Congo are struggling to contain the second worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history. Congo's neighbors are on high alert.
Home to nearly one million people, Bunia is the latest Congolese city to report an Ebola infection. The patient is a six-month-old baby, but authorities are baffled that its parents "appear to be in good health."
There's growing concern that the very steps the government and the World Health Organization are taking to curb the rising violence from organized groups — for instance, bringing in military, police and UN peacekeepers to provide protection — could sow further mistrust and fuel additional resistance from ordinary people.
The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) grew by 24 cases Monday, March 18, and over the preceding weekend, including several case-contacts who refused or delayed vaccination after family members fell ill.
Officials say many in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are mistrustful of health workers and resist their help — sometimes violently. Aid groups are proposing strategies to win people over.
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said it would be a mistake not to plan for a more prolonged outbreak, given the evident complexity of stopping transmission of the virus in northeastern DRC.