Serious Outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo

Serious Outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo

Florence Marchal, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in Congo, also known as MONUSCO, confirmed the claims with The New York Times, adding that a fact-finding team sent to the region had unearthed the burial sites.

Two soldiers from Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) based in North Kivu, eastern region have died of Ebola virus, a military official said Thursday. According to the report, although outbreak risk remains high at the national and regional levels, the global risk level remains low.

During the epidemic in West Africa, the first case was registered in December 2013 in Guinea, and since then the disease has extended to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as to other states, including outside the region.

UNICEF is scaling up its response to help victims and control the spread of the disease.

"While we have been able to largely control the disease in Mangina, Beni and Komanda, the virus continues to spread in the Butembo area, largely because of insecurity and population movement", said Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the DRC.

"We are scaling up our response and deploying additional staff in the health zones of Butembo and Katwa, where 65% of the new Ebola cases in the last three weeks have occurred". The UN and its humanitarian partners dispatched emergency help - medicine, food, water tablets and malaria kits - to further help the communities.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said the United Nations health agency is investing a huge amount of resources into preventing Ebola from spreading outside DRC and helping governments' ramp up their readiness to respond should any country have a positive case of Ebola.

Voting in affected areas was postponed while the Electoral Commission building was among facilities destroyed.

MONUSCO said it "strongly condemns" the violence and is calling for a thorough investigation.