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Ebola fight resumes after shell attack in Beni, Congo: WHO

November 18, 2018

The World Health Organization said Sunday it has resumed Ebola-fighting efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo after another scary attack hit Beni, a town at the heart of the outbreak.

Sixteen WHO staff members were evacuated to the city of Goma for psychological care after a shell hit their residence, yet did not explode, on Friday.

Responders in Beni had to scale back or suspend their efforts, including vaccinations, on Saturday but got back up and running Sunday.

The attacks highlighted the danger that foreign aid groups face in fighting out the stubborn outbreak, which has killed more than 200 people in the North Kivu province near Uganda.

Previous attacks upended efforts in Beni, and seven UN peacekeepers and a dozen Congolese soldiers were killed last week in an operation against the Allied Democratic Forces a key rebel group outside of the town.

WHO said it refuses to be deterred.

“WHO will continue to work side-by-side with the ministry and our partners to bring this Ebola outbreak to an end,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “We honor the memory of those who have died battling this outbreak, and deplore the continuing threats on the security of those still working to end it.”

Ebola is a serious, often-fatal disease that is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads from human to human through the bodily fluids of people who exhibit symptoms.

Responders have reported nearly 360 confirmed or suspected cases in the current outbreak, making it the worst the DRC has seen.

It’s the third-worst in global history, trailing the massive West African outbreak that killed more than 11,000 earlier this decade and an outbreak that struck Uganda nearly two decades ago, resulting in over 400 cases.

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