WHO announces fresh cases of Ebola in DRC



There is a confirmed four fresh cases of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa.

It announced the development on its official twitter account @WHOAFRO on Wednesday.

“Four new cases of Ebola reported in the past 10 days in Beni, DRC – the epicenter of the outbreak.

“WHO continues to support the Ministry of Health in surveillance efforts, investigating almost 2,000 alerts each day despite continued insecurity,’’ it said.

Meanwhile, in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) for DRC External Situation Report 89 issued on April 21, which covered April 13 to 19, 2020, stated that the four cases were all from Beni Health Zone in North Kivu Province.

It stated that three out of four cases were registered as contacts, though none were regularly followed by the response team because of insecurity and ongoing challenges with community reticence.

“In total, six cases have been reported since 10 April, four of whom have passed away.

“Currently there is one confirmed case receiving care at an Ebola treatment centre and one who remains in the community; response teams are engaging with the community in order to address this.

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“Prior to the emergence of this cluster in Beni, the last person confirmed to have EVD tested negative twice and was discharged from a treatment centre on March 3, 2020.

“Specimens from confirmed cases were sent to the Institut Research Biomedicale (INRB) for genetic sequencing to support surveillance teams in investigating the source of infection and to determine if cases were linked to a known source of transmission.’’

According to the report, a total of 638 contacts of these cases have been registered, of which 476 were followed on April 19, 2020.

“A total of 346 of these contacts have been vaccinated and as of April 19, 25 per cent of contacts have not been followed due to insecurity and ongoing challenges with community reticence.

“From 13 to 19 April 2020, an average of 1894 alerts were reported and investigated per day.

“Of these, an average of 187 alerts were validated as suspected cases each day, requiring specialized care and laboratory testing to rule-out EVD.’’

In addition, it said alert rate had decreased and remained suboptimal in the past three weeks as teams were pulled into other emergencies, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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“Response teams face other challenges, such as the presence of armed groups, limited access to some communities, movement of contacts, and possible under-reporting to the central coordination of the outbreak response.

“Timely testing of suspected cases continues to be provided from nine laboratories.

“From 13 to 19 April 2020, 1030 samples were tested including 583 blood samples from alive, suspected cases; 267 swabs from community deaths; and 180 samples from re-tested patients.

“Overall, laboratory activities increased by 6 per cent compared to the previous week.’’

As of 19 April 2020, it stated that a total of 3461 EVD cases, including 3,316 confirmed and 145 probable cases had been reported., of which 2,279 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66 per cent).

“Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56 per cent (number =1,943) were female, 28 per cent (number=983) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5per cent (number=171) were healthcare workers.

“As of 19 April 2020, a total of 1,169 cases have recovered from EVD in the country,’’ it added. (NAN)

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