SALT LAKE CITY ― Normal Ebola outbreaks are already difficult to control. But when one occurs in an active war zone, combating the disease is “almost impossible," health official warn.
According to NBC News, the rate of new Ebola cases in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has doubled since September.
Through the first nine days of October, 33 new cases were confirmed. This new number is “alarming” to health officials from the International Rescue Committee, especially when compared with the 41 total cases in September.
"This is a sign not only that the outbreak is not under control, but that without full engagement from the community things could get a lot worse," said Dr. Michelle Gayer, the IRC's senior director of emergency health, as reported by NBC News.
According to Vox, the outbreak was declared on August 1. Since then, more than 200 people have fallen ill with the virus and about 125 people have died, making this one of the worst Ebola outbreaks in history.
Some of the complications with containment come from the public’s reluctance to comply with health workers, Reuters reported.1 comment on this story
“Some Ebola victims are suspicious of health workers, fearing that hospitalization is a death sentence — despite the obvious risks of missing out on treatment - while some families insist on conducting traditional burials, which can spread the virus," according to Reuters.
Increased aggression toward health workers trying to conduct safe burials of Ebola victims near the war zone has forced the health workers to abandon this practice.
With all of the difficulty containing the disease, officials worry that the best-case scenario in stopping Ebola’s spread is still months down the road.
“We anticipate that now we’ll be looking at least another 3-4 months in order to really stem this outbreak,” emergency response chief, Peter Salama, said.