The epidemic in Congo with 426 cases, including 245 deaths, surpassed the Uganda outbreak in 2000 with 425 cases, according to World Health Organization report. Some field activities, including vaccination, were temporarily halted in Beni, the outbreak's epicenter, on November 17 following attacks by an armed rebel group.
This is the first time this turbulent part of northeastern Congo has had an Ebola outbreak.
The country has suffered 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered there in 1976.
Security concerns are real, Ebola responders say.
Health workers on Wednesday launched a door-to-door, four-day blitz to control malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the aim of cutting suspected Ebola cases in half.
Health workers hope that the first multi-drug Ebola treatment trial, announced by DR Congo's health ministry on Monday, will help to contain this and future outbreaks.
The epidemic disease is believed to have killed more 245 people, spread across 14 health zones with 426 cases of infection.
The alarmingly high number of infected newborns in this outbreak is another concern, and so far a mystery. "We fear that hundreds more people will lose their life in this outbreak", Gayer said in her statement Thursday. "If want to see the end of this, we do need all critical actors on the ground". Preliminary data indicate a positive impact of public health control measures in Beni and Kalunguta, but community engagement remains a challenge in Katwa, according to a press release from the WHO on Thursday. A total of 36 cases have been reported among newborn babies and children below the age of two, while 17 cases have been reported among pregnant women since the outbreak began.
"As the risk of national and regional spread is very high, it is important for neighboring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities", the statement read.
Salama of World Health Organization predicted that the outbreak in the northeastern part of the country will last at least another six months before it can be contained. Steffen told reporters in a teleconference October 17.
A State Department official said that CDC experts - and those with the U.S. Agency for International Development, who are also affected by the order - are still working closely with international partners to stop the outbreak. "We will not rest until this outbreak is finished".