As of Wednesday, 1,510 cases of Ebola have been reported in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country’s Ministry of Health reported Thursday.
Friday afternoon Congo’s Ministry of Health said there had been 1,008 Ebola deaths to date.
The tragic milestone of 1,000 Ebola deaths during this outbreak was probably exceeded Thursday, with reports filed Friday, said Dr. Michael Ryan, an executive director at the World Health Organization.
On average, Ebola — which causes fever, severe headache and in some cases hemorrhaging — kills about half of those infected. However, more than 400 patients have been treated and discharged from Ebola treatment centers during the outbreak, which began in August.
With violent attacks on communities and medical centers, a “considerable” rise in Ebola cases has occurred over the past week in Congo, WHO reported.
“Since January, we’ve experienced 119 separate attacks, 42 of which have been directly on health facilities, with 85 health personnel either injured or killed in those settings,” Ryan said. “We are anticipating a scenario of continued intense transmission.”
The outbreak is the second-deadliest and second-largest in history, topped only by one in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people, according to WHO.