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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ebola death toll exceeds 2,000 threshold

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The death toll from the Ebola epidemic has exceeded the threshold of 2,000 deaths out of more than 3,000 people registered since the beginning of August 2018, health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo said on Friday.

Data from the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Friday showed the death toll from the Ebola outbreak a year ago exceeded 2,000, while medical teams struggled to overcome mistrust in communities and widespread security problems.

Despite the development of a vaccine and effective treatments, health workers are struggling to control the spread of the disease in the remote and conflict-affected areas of eastern Congo, where many residents view the response efforts with suspicion.

“For treatment to work, people must trust it and the medical teams it provides. This will take time, resources and a lot of hard work,” the International Federation of the Red Cross said in a statement.

This is the tenth Ebola outbreak in Congo, but it is the first in North Kivu and Ituri, where militia violence and ethnic killings have undermined security in some areas for decades.

More than 11,000 of the 28,000 people who died of the disease died during the outbreak in West Africa between 2013 and 2016.

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