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Opinion: Urgent steps are needed to prevent Ebola from spinning out of control in the DRC

Global leaders should plan with the assumption that Ebola will get worse quickly in the DRC. That way they can help change the direction of this escalating outbreak.
An Ebola health worker at a treatment center in Beni, a city in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo Source: Al-hadji Kudra Maliro/AP

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing the second largest Ebola outbreak in history. This week has been the worst by far, with more than 100 new cases in the last 5 days. Since the outbreak began last summer, there have been more than 1,500 cases, with just over 1,000 deaths.

The DRC’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, along with international partners and nongovernmental organizations, are on the ground working to control the outbreak: helping provide care for the sick while trying to track down their contacts and working to vaccinate those contacts and their contacts. They are also trying to improve communication with affected communities about how Ebola is spread and how to prevent it.

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