In eastern DRC, 19 die of Ebola in five days


"If the (U.S.) ban were not in place, the CDC would have a big and growing presence here", said Mearns, who worked closely with the CDC in West Africa's Ebola outbreak.

Researchers have begun studying the effects of four pioneering medications being given out in the African nation, where 236 people have died already.

Towns such as Beni, North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are battling the worst ebola outbreak in the nation's history while also fending off an eight-fold increase in malaria cases since a year ago.

In a major concern for health workers, many new cases have been unconnected to known infections as the insecurity complicates efforts to track contacts of those with the disease. Previously, there was no vaccination available and the virus used to be treated with range of experimental drugs.

It's the deadliest outbreak of the disease in DRC history and second deadliest globally, the World Health Organization said.

Some 38 people died after they had a hemorrhagic fever, but it couldn't be verified whether they died of Ebola because they were buried without an autopsy.

The IRC's toll will surpass the 2000 to 2001 outbreak in Uganda, which killed 224 of the 425 people it infected, making it the second-worst after the virus killed over 11,000 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. "We will not rest until this outbreak is finished".

The current malaria control campaign is modelled on the one implemented in Sierra Leone, said the WHO.

The outbreak is concentrated in North Kivu, an eastern region where numerous militia groups are fighting for control over the country's rich natural resources.

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'This epidemic remains risky and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down, ' said Dr Kalenga.

The security situation in the region has at times limited the response efforts.

'We must continue to pursue a very dynamic response that requires permanent readjustments and real ownership at the community level'.

According to the ministry, nearly half of the 106 confirmed deaths were in the city of Beni which has a population of approximately 800,000 people.

Despite facing resistance from people who don't want health workers treating them, the government has managed to vaccinate more than 27,000 people.

Unusually, children are being badly affected because they're catching the virus while in medical clinics for other reasons, experts say.

World Health Organization said there was a high risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the DRC and other countries.

The combination of rebel violence and pre-election unrest is creating a "perfect storm" for an even worse epidemic, he said.