GENEVA – The World Health Organization announced on Friday that a total of 200 people had been infected in a recent Ebola outbreak that hit the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 125 of whom died.
The disease hit the eastern Congolese province of North Kivu, mainly in the city of Beni, where 82 percent of the new cases were reported, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.
A total of 35 people were infected over the last week, including 29 people who live in Beni, where WHO is set to mobilize more resources.
Insecurity is one of the main causes of the Ebola spread in Beni, according to the spokesperson.
Many of the Congolese provinces, including North Kivu, have been witnessing clashes between government troops and several armed rebels groups.
A recent attack that left many civilians dead forced WHO to suspend its epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of those who had contact with the infected people.
Although the attacks have not targeted the people who help tackle Ebola, they have prevented the teams from doing their job properly, Jasarevic added.
The disease, which is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of infected people or animals, is widely feared for its mortality rate of up to 90 percent and for causing heavy internal and external bleeding, as the virus severely damages blood vessels.
Early symptoms include sudden high fever, intense weakness and muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat, as well as vomiting.