Ebola virus disease

Ebola outbreak in the Congo surpasses 600 cases

Data: DRC Ministry of Health; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon and Harry Stevens/Axios

The world's 2nd-largest Ebola outbreak on record in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is showing no signs of slowing after at least 5 months, with the number of cases soaring past 600 and the death toll eclipsing 400 on Jan. 14.

Why it matters: The outbreak of the deadly virus, which causes fever, headaches, diarrhea and bleeding, has been exacerbated by insecurity in eastern Congo. The World Health Organization and nongovernmental organizations responding to the outbreak have never had to combat Ebola in such a threatening environment before, and some treatment centers have been destroyed.

Ebola worries spike after Congo election violence

Data: DRC Ministry of Health; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon and Harry Stevens/Axios

Worries over the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have spiked after violence surrounding last weekend's elections led to hundreds of refugees flooding bordering countries and caused DRC and international health workers to withdraw completely in some areas.

Why it matters: Efforts to treat and contain Ebola had been successful in the hotspot city of Beni during the early weeks of December, but experts say recent events have likely taken a significant toll on progress. That includes the government's move to reportedly shut down the country's internet in the wake of the election violence.

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