Health officials trying to contain measles outbreak in Congo, 4000 people have died

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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – The United Nations children’s agency says more than 4,000 people have died in Congo this year in the world’s largest measles outbreak.

Congo is also trying to contain an outbreak of the Ebola virus that has killed more than 2,000 people since August 2018.

UNICEF on Wednesday said more than 200,000 measles cases have been reported across Congo since January. It said more than 140,000 involve children under 5, who also make up nearly 90 percent of deaths.

UNICEF’s Congo representative Edouard Beigbeder said millions of children are missing out on routine immunizations and lack access to health care.

He said a weak health system, insecurity and community mistrust of health care workers are factors in the outbreak. All pose challenges to the Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo as well.

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