Ebola provokes fear in communities due to the severity of the symptoms, misunderstanding of the causes, the high number of deaths and control measures that are often perceived as intrusive and interfering with local social, cultural and religious practices.

Misinformation, mistrust of outsiders and conspiracy theories have spread quickly across North Kivu and Ituri. Communities have expressed a rational distrust born of decades of violence and displacement, along with unfamiliarity with the disease and with response activities.