Ebola: Death toll rises to 164 in DR Congo

The Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed 164 lives, according to health authorities.

In mid-October, Congolese authorities said they were facing a “second wave” of the outbreak centred on Beni, a town in North Kivu near the border with Uganda.

The epicentre had earlier been focussed on Mangina, a town around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Beni.

In total, 257 cases had been recorded in the region, of which 222 were confirmed and 35 were probable, since the start of the outbreak at the beginning of August, the Congolese Health Ministry said in a bulletin dated Friday.

On October 17, the World Health Organisation said the death toll stood at 139, although it said the outbreak did not yet merit being labelled a global health emergency.

The second wave of the deadly virus has been attributed to community resistance to measures already taken to tackle the disease.

On Thursday, around 1,000 students marched through the streets of Beni to launch a campaign to fight Ebola.

Since a vaccination programme began on August 8, over 22,000 people have been innoculated, of whom around 11,000 were in Beni, the health ministry said.

An Ebola treatment centre in the city now had more than 60 beds, it added.

The latest outbreak is the 10th in DR Congo since Ebola was first detected there in 1976.

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