“This tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak. While the numbers are far from those from West Africa in 2014, we’re witnessing how the dynamics of conflict pose a different kind of threat,” said Michelle Gayer, senior director of emergency health at the International Rescue Committee.
The alarmingly high number of infected newborns in Congo is another concern, and so far a mystery. In a separate statement on Thursday, WHO said so far in this outbreak, 36 Ebola cases have been reported among newborn babies and children under 2.
This is the first time this turbulent part of northeastern Congo has had an Ebola outbreak. Congo’s health ministry has carried vivid accounts of residents, spurred by rumors, who have been trying to stop safe burial practices that halt the spread of Ebola from victims to relatives and friends.
On Thursday, the ministry said a group of youths broke into a morgue, stole the body of an Ebola victim and returned it to their family.