Ebola Wednesday confirmed 14 new cases of Ebola virus in its eastern borderlands, the largest one-day increase since the current outbreak was declared in August.
In all, the hemorrhagic fever is believed to have killed 439 people and infected another 274 in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. It is surpassed only by the 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa, which involved over 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths and led to substantial investments in a vaccine and treatments for the virus.
Health officials have struggled to bring the current outbreak, Congo’s tenth since 1976, under control, largely due to widespread militia violence in eastern Congo which has hampered the response.
The health ministry said in a daily bulletin that nine of the new cases were in the health zone of Katwa, just outside Butembo, a city of several hundred thousand people near the Ugandan border that has emerged as the outbreak’s new epicenter.The ministry also announced six new deaths of confirmed cases as well as the recovery of one patient.