Health workers fighting an Ebola outbreak are ditching their scrubs as they wear disguises in case militiamen attack them in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Doctors are wearing plain shirts to conceal their identities while others ride on motorbikes instead of medical jeeps to avoid conflict.
Emergency response director for the International Rescue Committee, Tariq Riebel, told The Washington Post: “Our staff has to lie about being doctors in order to treat people.”
The infection count has increased to 1,760 while the death toll climbed to 1,161, according to Congo’s Ministry of Health.
Militiamen believe that the virus is a conspiracy against them and have always attacked doctors trying to fight Ebola.
There have been more than 110 attacks this year against health workers, with 85 being killed or wounded, according to the World Health Organization.
Last month, an attack in a Butembo hospital killed an epidemiologist working for the WHO. The organization said an increase in cases showed the strategy of vaccinating people known to be directly exposed to Ebola virus no longer works.
Over 111,000 people received the vaccination but it didn’t stop the contagious virus from spreading.
WHO experts continue to give vaccine to entire villages and neighborhoods where cases have been reported.
Funerals were a major cause of virus transmission during the worst Ebola outbreak. In 2014, over 3,000 people had been infected and more than 1,500 died. In 2015, 28,073 had been infected and 11,290 killed.
Signs and symptoms of Ebola virus usually appear within 5 to 10 days and include fever, chills, weakness, muscle and joint pain, and severe headache. Other symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, red eyes, cough, chest pain, stomach pain, and bleeding from eyes, nose, ears or rectum.
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