Ebola death toll rises to 200 in Congo

The protective suits are vital and all areas of skin must be covered

The United States is anxious about the outbreak of Ebola in conflict-hit eastern Congo where there are 312 confirmed and probable cases and 191 deaths, a USAID official said on Thursday.

The ministry said it had recorded 201 deaths from the virus and that 291 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began in August.

Kalenga said 198 deaths have been recorded so far in the current outbreak, the country's 10th, including 165 confirmed cases, with 35 probable deaths.

The outbreak in 1976 of what was then an unknown disease in a remote part of DR Congo sparked terror, but was brought under control by experts quickly identifying the virus' nature and using quarantines.

The health ministry has said teams responding to the Ebola outbreak are attacked three or four times a week on average, a level of violence unseen in the country's nine previous outbreaks of the virus.

"We are facing numerous complex challenges, but it's encouraging and inspiring to see that our efforts to deliver as one United Nations, have been extremely successful in many hotspots and will help to end the outbreak and save lives", Lacroix said.

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Mr Ilunga said, on Friday, that teams had faced "threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment and kidnapping".

"This epidemic remains unsafe and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down".

Reports say the announcement follows warnings that the outbreak may worsen due to armed group attacks and community resistance.

Separately, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said this week that the main challenges in the current epidemic are insecurity and community mistrust.

"When there is an attack, the operation [vaccinations] actually freezes".

The World Health Organization's committee has said that the outbreak did not yet constitute a public health emergency of worldwide concern.

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