An Ebola Crisis Intensifies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as Health-Care Workers Are Infected

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing an alarming Ebola outbreak, with 10 health-care workers now reported to be infected by the highly contagious virus.

As the Kenyan paper the Daily Nation reports, there have been more than 90 reported cases of Ebola in the DRC. There have been 49 deaths, according to a report released by the Congolese Health Ministry on Saturday, including one health-care worker.

Recently emerging from a long period of war, the DRC remains one of the world's poorest countries. The first-ever recorded case of Ebola was detected there in 1976 (the virus is named for a river in the country's north); since then, there have been 10 outbreaks in the country, including this most recent outbreak.

In March, fears mounted when officials confirmed the first-ever urban Ebola case: The deadly virus was detected in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million in the DRC. After infecting 53 and killing 29, the Ministry of Health declared that outbreak contained in July. But officials began reporting cases of this latest outbreak in the country's south just days after the other outbreak was declared over.

Joseph Fair, a virologist working with the International Medical Corps in the DRC, told NPR that health-care workers fear a "West Africa-like situation" and are doing what they can to contain the outbreak. Between 2014 and 2016, Ebola killed over 11,000 in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leon.

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