The second-largest, second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has claimed the lives of nearly 100 children so far.
The second-largest, second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has claimed the lives of nearly 100 children.
At least 97 children, 65 of whom were younger than 5 years old, have died from Ebola virus disease in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since the outbreak was declared there Aug. 1, according to a press release from Save the Children, a charity supporting the fight against the current epidemic.
“We are at a crossroads,” Heather Kerr, Save the Children’s country director in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said in a statement Sunday. “If we don’t take urgent steps to contain this, the outbreak might last another six months, if not the whole year.”
A total of 811 people have reported symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in the country’s northeastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. Among those cases, 750 have tested positive for Ebola, which causes an often-fatal type of hemorrhagic fever, according to Sunday night’s bulletin from the country’s health ministry.
The growing outbreak has a case fatality rate of nearly 63 percent. There have been 510 deaths thus far, including 449 people who died from confirmed cases of Ebola. The other deaths are from probable cases, the ministry said.
The number of new cases spiked in January, from about 20 a week to more than 40, according to Save the Children, which expressed concern about misinformation in the local community and mistrust of the medical response.