The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially announced the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the second largest and second deadliest in history, behind the devastating West Africa outbreak in 2014 that killed thousands.
The epidemic in Congo with 426 cases, including 245 deaths, surpassed the Uganda outbreak in 2000 with 425 cases, according to WHO report.
WHO emergencies chief Dr Peter Salama on late Thursday called it “a sad toll” as Congo’s health ministry announced the number of cases has reached 426. That includes 379 confirmed cases and 47 probable ones.
"This is a milestone nobody wanted to hit," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.
According to WHO report, the latest outbreak in Congo, which began in August, has a case fatality rate of 57%.
Of the total cases, 379 have been confirmed, and 47 are probable wherein an additional 87 suspected are under investigation, said the health ministry.
Salama this month predicted that the outbreak in northeastern Congo will last at least another six months before it can be contained.
This is the 10th outbreak since 1976 in Congo, according to the health ministry, where the disease is endemic and the second this year.
(With inputs from agencies)