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Violence again halts Congo's efforts to contain Ebola outbreak

Photo of MONUSCO tank patrolling city of Beni, the epicenter of Ebola outbreak in Congo
A military truck of the United Nations Organisation and Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo patrolling road to Beni in August 2018. Photo: John Wessels/AFP/Getty Images

Violence this weekend in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has again put a halt to efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola virus. The DRC's Ministry of Health reports that rebels in the Rwenzori neighborhood of Beni killed at least 12 people and kidnapped another dozen over the weekend — causing "all vaccination and awareness activities [to be] suspended on Sunday."

Why it matters: The DRC has reported more than 200 confirmed cases of Ebola since this outbreak started Aug.1 — and this is the 10th major incidence of violence near the outbreak epicenter in Beni. Each time public health officials are pulled away from their tasks of following up with contacts of infected people for monitoring and vaccination means the virus has a chance to spread to new people or regions.

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