Ebola Deaths Increase to 125 as Congo Infections Accelerate

(Bloomberg) -- The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo climbed to 125 as the number of new infections accelerates, the Health Ministry said.

Authorities in the central African nation are struggling to contain the worst epidemic of the viral illness since it killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. Their efforts are being hampered by violence in the region, where dozens of militia groups carry out frequent attacks, and local mistrust of health workers.

“Since October, a large increase in the number of new cases has been observed, mainly in Beni,” the ministry said in a statement emailed Thursday from the capital, Kinshasa. Beni is a large town near where the latest outbreak in Congo was identified in August.

The World Health Organization has called for urgent funding to help curb the disease’s spread.

The response to the outbreak is “becoming increasingly undermined by security challenges in at-risk areas, particularly Beni,” the WHO said in a statement published Friday. It cited “incidents of conflict between rebel and government forces, and pockets of community push-back.”