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गृहपृष्ठ Ebola death toll in Congo rises to 1,965: WHO

Ebola death toll in Congo rises to 1,965: WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that the Ebola virus death toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 1,965 and the outbreak continues at a ‘substantial but stable transmission intensity’ for the past 10 weeks.

Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, Dr. Mike Ryan, said at a UN briefing here that since mid-June, some 80 new confirmed cases a week have been observed. ‘Cases over the last two to three weeks have started to reduce. And we hope this trend will continue,’ said Ryan while noting that WHO has over 670 staff on the frontline to fight the disease.

He said, ‘We believe we’re making progress in some areas. We believe that we have the vaccines and the effective therapeutics now that can really change the direction of this outbreak.’ He said, however, that ‘worryingly’ Ebola has affected the town of Mambasa in the north of DRC. WHO says the Ebola outbreak in the DRC is the second-deadliest, and it needs to deliver its effective interventions at the community level, but faces numerous obstacles to achieving that.

Two new drugs tested on Ebola patients in DRC show that more than 90 percent of patients can survive if treated within three days of showing symptoms, WHO sad earlier in August. Ryan said data shows that the geographic extension of the virus has increased, while the intensity of transmission has reduced in that time.

‘So, we are winning against the virus in the intense transmission areas, but still failing to prevent the further extension of the virus into other areas before the disease is properly extinguished,’ said Ryan.

‘Security remains and continues to be a major threat to our teams – equally, community acceptance,’ said Ryan while noting WHO had a highly effective vaccine. ‘WHO needs to see a scale-up of our partners in the field, both UN and non-governmental,’ said Ryan.

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