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Ebola treatment suspends in Ebola outbreak
DAKAR (Reuters) – Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has suspended medical activities at the epicenter of an Ebola epidemic in Democratic Republic of Congo after two of its facilities were torched by unidentified assailants, the French charity said on Thursday.
Two MSF facilities treating Ebola patients in North Kivu province were attacked in separate incidents earlier this week. Aid workers have faced mistrust in some areas as they work to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has become the worst in Congo’s history.
The current Ebola outbreak, first declared last August, is believed to have killed at least 553 people so far and infected over 300 more.
The health ministry said in a statement that 38 suspected Ebola patients and 12 confirmed cases were in the center at the time of the attack. Four of the patients with confirmed cases fled and are being looked for, it said.
The attack in the city of Butembo was the second in Congo’s Ebola-hit east this week. On Sunday unidentified assailants set fire to a treatment center in the nearby town of Katwa, killing a nurse.
“In light of these two violent incidents, we have no choice but to suspend our activities until further notice,” MSF Emergency Desk Manager Hugues Robert said in a statement.