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Resistance From Residents Hampering Efforts to Contain Congo Ebola Outbreak
Attempts to thwart safe burials of Ebola victims in the Congo are among the types of opposition from local residents making it difficult for health officials to contain an outbreak of the deadly infectious disease in the far northeast of the country.
Experts say the rate of new Ebola cases has more than doubled since the start of the month, the Associated Press reported.
So far, there have been 95 deaths among the 172 confirmed Ebola cases in the outbreak, according to Congo’s health ministry.
Along with families’ resisting measures to ensure the safe burials of victims, residents have attacked health teams and people suspected to have had contact with infected patients have tried to slip away, the AP reported.
This is the first time Ebola has appeared in this part of the country and resistance to containment efforts has been greatest in Beni, where many of the new cases are occurring.
Since Aug. 1, Ebola control efforts in Beni have been suspended twice since the outbreak was declared on Aug. 1, the AP reported.
In Beni, residents explain that this is their first experience with Ebola and with strangers telling them how to say goodbye to loved ones killed by the disease.
“Until now we didn’t know enough about Ebola and we felt marginalized when Red Cross agents came in and took the corpse and buried it without family members playing a role,” Beni resident Patrick Kyana told the AP.
“It’s very difficult. Imagine that your son dies and someone refuses to let you assist in his burial. In Africa we respect death greatly,” Kyana explained.
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