Congolese officials have confirmed the death of one of at least two new Ebola patients in South Kivu.
The Congo outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people, but this is the first time in a one-year Ebola epidemic spread in South Kivu. The new cases were reported on Friday near the town of Bukavu in the Congo region, in the Miyeng region, near the border with Rwanda.
Ebola treatment is a challenge for the Congolese authorities because of ongoing civil strife.
In addition, many people do not believe that Ebola is real. Instead of seeking medical help, they may choose to stay home, allowing the virus to spread.
Efforts to combat Ebola are also being disadvantaged by residents, suspicious of the extensive precautionary measures taken by healthcare professionals to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease. Because Ebola virus can be transmitted through the body fluids of the victim after death, even burying the victims requires strict safety protocols.
The current outbreak is considered to be the worst since the two-year outbreak in West Africa, which began in 2014 and has killed more than 11,000 people.
Credit: Voice of America (VOA)