Deadly Ebola outbreak in the Congo is now 2nd largest in history

JOHANNESBURG — The World Health Organization says Congo’s deadly Ebola outbreak is now the second largest in history, behind the devastating West Africa outbreak that killed thousands a few years ago.

WHO emergencies chief Dr. Peter Salama late Thursday called it “a sad toll” as Congo’s health ministry announced the number of cases has reached 426. That includes 379 confirmed cases and 47 probable ones.

Attacks by rebel groups and open hostility by some wary locals have posed serious challenges that Ebola workers say they have never faced before. Many venture out on critical virus containment work only with the accompaniment of U.N. peacekeepers while gunfire echoes daily.

Salama this month predicted that the outbreak in northeastern Congo will last at least another six months before it can be contained.

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