Ebola death toll surges in DR Congo
BENI – Agence France-Presse
The number of people killed in an Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo has risen to 443, health authorities have announced, as new President Felix Tshisekedi began his first full day in office on Jan. 25.
The rising death toll - up by more than 40 in the past ten days - emphasizes the challenge of controlling the epidemic in the strife-torn east and is just one of a host of complex issues facing Tshisekedi.
In a bulletin on Jan. 24, the health ministry outlined the growth of the Ebola outbreak.
"Since the start of the epidemic, the total number of cases is 715, including 666 confirmed and 49 probable. In all, there have been 443 deaths" in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, the ministry said.
The latest outbreak was declared on August 1 in the region of Beni, a major market town in North Kivu, and quickly spread to neighboring Ituri province.
The ministry said 248 people have recovered from the Ebola virus, while "236 suspect cases" were under investigation - down one from the previous bulletin on January 15.
The presidential election, held on December 30, was cancelled in Beni, officially because of the Ebola outbreak and regional insecurity.