According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 72 people contracted the disease last week — more than double the number of the previous weeks' averages. Since the widespread outbreak of the epidemic in August 2018, more than 1,000 people have contracted Ebola.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates it will take at least six months before it gains control of the Ebola outbreak. It says it expects cases will continue to increase until full response measures can be put in place in all vulnerable areas.
Each of the past two weeks has registered a record number of new cases, marking a sharp setback for efforts to respond to the second biggest outbreak ever, as militia violence and community resistance have impeded access to affected areas.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) closed out March with an ongoing spate of cases over a two-day period: 23 in eight locations.
Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, March 29, recorded 15 new confirmed cases of Ebola, the biggest one-day rise since the current outbreak was declared last August, the health ministry said.
A few weeks before an attack on an Ebola treatment center in the DRC’s North Kivu province last month, a message was circulating on WhatsApp: “If you go to the doctor, you risk contracting Ebola through the medicine you’re given. The doctor and the response team are there to exterminate people.”
The findings underscore the practical implications of mistrust and misinformation for outbreak control. These factors are associated with low compliance with messages of social and behavioural change and refusal to seek formal medical care or accept vaccines, which in turn increases the risk of spread of Ebola virus disease..
International officials managing the response may be unaware of local conditions. Spontaneous visits by such people to outbreak areas may be resented by local residents as well as local workers, who are paid a fraction of what their Western counterparts earn.
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.