Ebola outbreak in DR Congo is the 2nd deadliest in history

WHO says DRC Ebola outbreak second largest in history

The International Rescue Committee on Friday said an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become the second-worst in history.

According to United Nations health body, there have been struggles to contain the disease since the outbreak in August with armed conflict in the eastern city of Beni in North Kivu, hampering efforts to curb the disease.

WHO emergencies chief Dr. Peter Salama late Thursday called it "a sad toll" as Congo's health ministry announced the number of cases has reached 426.

The epidemic in a volatile part of Democratic Republic of Congo is now only surpassed by the 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa, where more than 28,000 cases where confirmed, and is bigger than an outbreak in 2000 in Uganda involving 425 cases.

"[We] will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Congolese health ministry to do whatever it takes to bring the outbreak to an end", the World Health Organization's Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response has said in a tweet.

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DRC officials say the Ebola outbreak is the worst in country's recorded history.

'While our focus remains on bringing this outbreak to an end, the launch of the randomised control trial is an important step toward finally finding an Ebola treatment that will save lives, ' said World Health Organization director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Beni is in the middle of a conflict zone and operations have been affected by rebel attacks. The deadly virus, Ebola was initially identified in 1979.

Malaria can normally be diagnosed with a rapid blood test, but the risk of Ebola transmission means health workers have to rely on an assessment of symptoms, he said. "We will not rest until this outbreak is finished".

It has been reported that more than 126 people have recovered from the virus.

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He added: 'Since their arrival in the region, the response teams have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment, and kidnapping.

Those who are known to have come into contact with others who had the disease have been targeted by the vaccination programme.

"No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are now experiencing", the Congolese health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, said in a November 9 statement.

This is what happened in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, when people with malaria were filling Ebola treatment centres during the West African outbreak in 2014, he said.

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