Boss WHO wants the Congo Ebola outbreak to stop in six months at the latest

The deadly Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo must be stopped in a maximum of six months. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced this on Thursday.


The deadly Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo must be stopped in a maximum of six months. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced this on Thursday.

Almost six hundred people have died of the disease since the outbreak in August last year. Aid is made more difficult because there is an armed conflict between several rebel groups and the Congolese army, particularly in the North Kivu region.

In addition to the victims, it is estimated that hundreds of people have been infected. According to Ghebreyesus, however, it seems that the spread of the disease is declining, despite the violence and unrest in the region.

"Now it's time to overcome the disease. We want to do that in the next six months," the Ethiopian told Thursday reporters in Geneva, Switzerland, where the World Health Organization is based.

"The virus has not spread to other parts of the country or beyond the national borders. The risk of further geographical spread seems to have been averted."

According to Ghebreyesus, the number of new cases of infection has halved since January. Where initially fifty new infected people were registered per week, it is now estimated to be 25.

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Hospitals often target armed robberies

The WHO boss warns that it is important that the armed conflict is ended if the Ebola outbreak is to be stopped definitively. For example, hospitals are still regularly the target of rebel attacks.

"The risk of the disease reappearing is still present, especially if safety does not return. To beat the disease, we must beat the violence."

The Democratic Republic of Congo has often had to deal with outbreaks of Ebola. The outbreak of last August was the tenth in the history of the country, although for the time being it is still limited to North Kivu and the neighboring province of Ituri.

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