DRC Ebola Outbreak Reaches 743 Total Cases, Including At Least 2 Soldiers

Ebola outbreak

RECORD Authorities say the Ebola outbreak in the DRC is the second-biggest in history

The massacre was carried out in four attacks that began on December 16, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission of the Congo said in a statement Thursday.

The United Nations reported that 720 people have been infected with the deadly virus, including more than 460 who have died, and 258 who have survived Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A MONUSCO special mission looking into the circumstances of the fighting found at least 11 mass graves and 43 individual graves around the town of Yumbi and at least four communal graves containing at least 170 bodies in nearby Bongende, spokeswoman Florence Marchal said.

The wave of violence was allegedly triggered by a dispute over the burial of the customary chief of the Banunu community.

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An estimated 16,000 people reportedly fled Yumbi and the surrounding area, to different locations including "some 7,000 persons who, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), sought refuge by crossing the river into the Republic of Congo". It is also the world's second largest Ebola outbreak in history after the one in West Africa in 2014-2016. The response to this latest outbreak continues to be hampered by insecurity, frequent movement of people in the affected areas, and resistance from some communities.

UNICEF is scaling up its response to help victims and control the spread of the disease.

According to health ministry, Ebola virus disease transmission in DRC continues in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, adding that Butembo and Katwa are the current hot spots and represent 65 percent of new confirmed cases in the past 21 days. Those clashes, we think, took place between 16 and 18 December previous year. The UN and its humanitarian partners dispatched emergency help - medicine, food, water tablets and malaria kits - to further help the communities.

In eastern and northern parts of the DR Congo, 682 confirmed cases of Ebola have been recorded and 54 probable cases, the health ministry said on Monday.

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