There have been 78 cases of Ebola reported in the current outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization says.
Of those cases, 51 are confirmed, and 27 are probable. This includes 44 deaths.
The reported cases are in five health zones in North Kivu and one health zone in Ituri, but all of the cases are linked to the “outbreak epi-center” in Mangina, the agency said.
In addition, 10 health care workers have become infected with the disease. Nine of those cases are confirmed, and the one probable case is a worker who died.
“These health care workers were likely exposed in clinics, not Ebola treatment centres (ETCs), many of which may have been infected before the declaration of the outbreak,” according to a statement from WHO.
The agency is working to “increase awareness of Ebola among health care and other frontline workers, and to strengthen infection prevention and control (IPC) measures.”
The affected provinces share a border with Uganda and Rwanda and are densely populated. Ongoing conflict and violence in the area pose security concerns for those working to contain the outbreak.
This is the 10th outbreak in Congo, where the virus is endemic.