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Medical workers, WHO straining to stop Ebola spreading in DRC

The deadly haemorrhagic disease broke out in a conflict zone and is barely contained within porous borders.

A World Health Organization worker administers a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating an outbreak of Ebola in the port city of Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 21 May 2018. Picture: Reuters

PRETORIA - Medical workers and World Health Organisation staff are straining to stop the second deadliest Ebola outbreak on the planet spreading into the Great Lakes Region in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The deadly haemorrhagic disease broke out in a conflict zone and is barely contained within porous borders.

Those fighting it fear what they call a perfect storm of infection.

The Ebola outbreak in the eastern DRC has become the second deadliest the planet has experienced, with more than 400 deaths and hundreds more infected.

Desperate to avoid a recurrence of the West Africa outbreak that killed more than 11,000 people between 2013 and 2016, health workers are returning to their posts which were abandoned because of pre-election violence.

Parallel contingency plans are being undertaken in Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda where some Congolese fled to escape the violence.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)