An Ebola health worker is seen at a treatment centre in Beni, Eastern Congo. file picture: Al-hadji Kudra Maliro/AP

Kinshasa - More than 1 000 people have died from Ebola in the latest outbreak in Congo, the country's health ministry said Friday.

A ministry statement sent to dpa said 1,008 people have now died from the virus, while 1,529 cases have been recorded.

The grim milestone comes as health care workers battle to contain the deadly disease amid attacks on their clinics and staff.

"The security has become a major impediment," said Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, earlier in the day.

Numerous militia groups operate in eastern Congo, most fighting over the country's rich natural resources.

Mwamini Kahindo, an Ebola survivor working as a caregiver to babies with Ebola, holds an infant outside the red zone at the Ebola treatment centre in Butembo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. File picture: Baz Ratner/Reuters

Treatment centres have been burned, and on April 19, a WHO epidemiologist, Richard Mouzoko, was killed by armed men.

Authorities and aid groups have also had to deal with a local population suspicious of health workers.

The current outbreak in eastern Congo is the second-largest ever.

Ebola is a highly infectious disease that causes a fever and often leads to massive internal bleeding and death.

dpa