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Ebola: Attackers kill DR Congo journalist shining light on virus



  Health workers bury an 11-month-old child in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, May 05, 2019. DR Congo

A Congolese journalist who raises awareness of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been killed in his home.

The army stated that unidentified assailants raided the home of Papi Mumber Mahamba in Lubma, in northeastern Ituri province, killing him, injuring his wife and burning down their house. DR Congo is experiencing the second worst ebola in the world

People working to stop the virus are often attacked.

The killing of Mahamba is likely fueled by a deep suspicion of the Ebola virus and distrust of those working to stop it, BBC World Africa Editor Will Ross reports.

What happened?

Mr Mahamba was just hosting a community Ebola awareness program when the attack took place.

Professor Steve Ahuka, national coordinator of the fight against Ebola, confirmed reports from the army that a "municipal worker" involved in the fight against Ebola had been killed.

A journalist at Radio Lemba, the local radio station where he worked, also confirmed the details. Jacques Kamwina told AFP that Mahamba had been stabbed to death.

What is the situation with Ebola in the DRC?

The DRC declared an Ebola epidemic in August 201

8. More than 2,000 lives have been lost amid a total of 3,000 confirmed infections, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The outbreak affects the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri, DRC.

In July, WHO declared that the situation is "a public health emergency of international concern."

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Media caption Fears and myths: Why people still deny Ebola

Epidemic control efforts are thwarted by violence against

Some do not believe the virus exists or does not trust healthcare professionals, leading people to avoid treatment.

About 200 attacks on health workers, ambulances and health centers were carried out in the last year.

What is Ebola?

  • Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, severe weakness, muscle pain and sore throat.
  • Progresses to vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.
  • People become infected when they have direct contact through broken skin or in the mouth and nose, with blood, vomiting, faeces or body fluids of a person with Ebola.
  • Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.

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