Congo Ebola outbreak is 2nd largest, 2nd deadliest

The current Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced 426 total cases, including 245 deaths, making it the second largest and second deadliest in history, according to Thursday's report from the nation's Ministry of Health.

The current Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced 426 total cases, including 245 deaths, making it the second largest and second deadliest in history, according to Thursday's report from the nation's Ministry of Health. The deadliest outbreak occurred in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people. This is the 10th outbreak since 1976 in Congo, where the virus is endemic, and the second this year. "The risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as to neighboring countries, remains very high," the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement Thursday. However, there have been no confirmed cases in Congo's neighbors, said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic. "All neighboring countries have implemented heightened surveillance, and are detecting and investigating alerts and suspected Ebola cases." In October, CDC personnel who had been stationed in Congo had been pulled back from the worst affected areas due to safety concerns. A Congo government report indicates that 37,559 people have received an experimental vaccine in a campaign that began August 8. "This includes over 11,100 health and frontline workers, and 9,300 children," Jasarevic said. The experimental rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, made by Merck, proved highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial in Guinea, according to WHO.