KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo (AP) — more than 1,000 people have died from an outbreak of Ebola that began in August in eastern Congo, authorities reported on Friday, at a time when attacks on the treatment centers and against the Trab Health Ajadores undermine the tasks to contain the disease. Four deaths in Katwa, the epicenter of the outbreak, increased the number of deceased to 1,008, said Health Minister Oly Ilunga, to The Associated Press. Two more deaths were reported in Butembo. The outbreak is already the second deadliest in history, and the work to control it has been complicated by a volatile security situation and the deep distrust of the community. Ebola treatment centers have been frequently attacked and a Cameroonian epidemiologist working with WHO was murdered last month during an attack on a hospital in the city of Butembo. Another attack was averted in the same city on Thursday, said Mike Ryan, WHO Head of emergencies.
Insecurity has become a «major impediment» to the tasks of controlling the Ebola outbreak, said Ryan to the press in Geneva on Friday morning.
He added that 119 attacks have been reported since January, 42 of them directly against health centers, leaving 85 injured or dead health workers. Dozens of rebel groups operate in the region, and the community’s rejection of health workers is partly motivated by political rivalries, said Ryan. Every time we have managed to regain control of the virus and contain its spread, we have suffered great security incidents, «said Ryan. «We anticipate a scenario of continuous and intense transmission» of the disease. The outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, in West Africa, which was recorded between 2014 and 2016, attracted global attention when it left more than 11,000 people dead.