Ebola total approaches 1,000 as cases reappear in Beni


Continuing the recent increase in new cases of Ebola, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported 11 new cases today, including 2 in Beni, a region that had been an epicenter earlier in the outbreak, bringing the total to 991 cases. .

And in its weekly overview of the epidemic today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the recent sharp increase in the number of cases following a decline of several weeks does not make any difference. This was not surprising and partly reflected the increased security concerns, especially the direct attacks on Ebola treatment centers and pockets. distrust of the community – events that muddled the response for a few days.

DRC officials recorded 55 cases in the last 6 days.

Deaths include a baby with unknown exposure

The 11 new cases announced today are in six locations and all, with the exception of Beni, have reported other recent cases. They include Vuhovi (3), Beni (2), Mandima (2), Butembo (2) and 1 each in Katwa and Masereka.

Of a total of 991 cases, 926 are confirmed and 65 are probable. Health officials are still investigating 230 suspected cases.

In addition, four other people in DCR died of Ebola infection, three in community centers in Katwa, Beni and Mandima and one in Butembo Ebola Treatment Center. Developments bring the number of fatalities to 614.

The 11 new cases today follow 12 new infections reported yesterday, which were detailed in a report released late in the day by the DRC Ministry of Health. The cases of yesterday included a Bunia disease involving a 6-month-old baby whose parents are apparently healthy. An investigation is underway, including a breast milk analysis, to determine the source of exposure to the virus.

The WHO had some additional details on the case in its update today, which indicated that the baby had died and that it was the first case in this health zone. A previous case was reported at the beginning of February in the neighboring Rwampara health zone.

Vaccination passes 90 000

In addition, the Ministry of Health announced today that the number of people vaccinated with VSV-EBOV had exceeded 90,000 and now reached 90,351.

In addition, brainstorming sessions following attacks on Butembo and Katwa resulted in a plan to strengthen community engagement by establishing local Ebola committees in areas where the Resistance is the strongest, a useful approach to fighting resistance in the Beni district of Ndindi.

So far, 21 zones have been targeted for the establishment of Ebola committees, including 8 in Butembo, 7 in Katwa and 6 in Vuhovi. Local committee members will receive training on how to assist response operations, such as decontamination and household monitoring.

Some encouraging signs in the midst of the challenges

In its assessment today, WHO reported that Katwa, Butembo, Masereka and Mandima were the hot spots, accounting for 80% of cases in the last 3 weeks. He added that the intervention teams are fully operational in all areas.

Despite current security concerns, the newspaper said it saw some glimmers of improvement in community acceptance of response efforts. For example, more than 90% of eligible vaccine recipients received and more than 90% of them participated in follow-up visits.

The field trials of suspected Ebola cases keep pace and analyze 1,300 samples per week, and the ALIMA aid group is increasing its capabilities at the Katwa transit center.

Ebola stakeholders engage with community members through dialogue platforms in Butembo, Katwa and Vuhovi, said the WHO.

"This initiative allows community members to participate and lead decisions about Ebola response interventions in their localities," the agency added.

See also:

March 21st DRC Update

March 21st update of the WHO

March 20th Update on the DRC


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