Intended for healthcare professionals


Escalating Congo Ebola epidemic passes 2000 cases amid violence and suspicion

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 05 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4062

Linked BMJ Opinion

Congo’s Ebola epidemic—a failed response and the need for a reset

  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The Ebola outbreak in the troubled north east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has passed 2000 confirmed and probable cases, the World Health Organization has announced. The epidemic is now spreading faster than ever, as local suspicion and attacks from armed groups disable the medical response.

The 2000th case was a “sad and frustrating milestone,” said Tariq Riebl, emergency response director of the International Rescue Committee. At least 1346 people have died in the outbreak.

This is the second worst Ebola outbreak ever, though still far behind the 2014 west African epidemic that killed over 11 000 people. No other outbreak has killed over 300.

“To say that things are not going well is an understatement,” said Riebl. “It’s time the international community wakes up to the severity of this crisis.

“We are now seeing eight to …

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