Ongoing Violence In DRC Hindering Ebola Outbreak Response; Total Recorded Cases Exceed 600

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola outbreak total rises to 613 infections
“…In a delayed update for Jan. 3, the DRC’s health ministry [on Friday] reported one more case, a patient from Komanda in Ituri province. Also, the online dashboard from the WHO’s African regional office reflects four additional cases, which would raise the outbreak total to 613 cases, including 565 confirmed and 54 suspected cases. Health officials are still investigating 54 suspected infections. In addition, the Jan. 3 DRC update reported two more deaths, one in Beni and the other in Butembo, lifting the outbreak’s fatality count to 370. The number of people vaccinated has reached 54,522, according to [Friday’s] statement…” (Schnirring, 1/4).

The Hill: Election violence in Congo hinders Ebola response
“Violent protests and attacks on health responders are complicating efforts to combat the deadly Ebola virus as it spreads through several cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), senior officials say, raising the chances that the virus may spread to major cities or across international boundaries…” (Wilson, 1/4).

Reuters: WHO says progress against Ebola in Congo will be lost if violence goes on
“Progress in fighting Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak, the second worst ever, will be reversed if fighting continues around the disease hotspots of Beni and Butembo, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on [December 28]…” (Miles, 12/28).

Additional coverage of the ongoing Ebola outbreak in DRC is available from HuffPost, New York Times, STAT (2), and U.N. News.