During weekends and today, more than 13 cases and 5 more deaths from Ebola were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) 3-month contracted the virus in Kivu and Ituri provinces.
All but one case came from Butembo and Beni, the current virus hotspot. Two of the new cases, a young mother and her 2-week-old child, were diagnosed in Beni and then transferred to the Ebola treatment center in Mabalako at the request of the family. Another patient is from Kalunguta.
The total for outbreaks now stands in 300 cases (265 confirmed, 35 possibilities), including 186 deaths. In addition, 41 cases were allegedly under investigation.
The outbreak, the tenth in the country, is the third largest. It began in Mabalako in early August, just weeks after the DRC announced the end of the Ebola outbreak on the west side of the country. The outbreak was carried to the fast end after Merck's experimental vaccine was used in a ring vaccination program that targeted case contacts and contact contacts.
The current outbreak has been characterized by compatibility of viral activity and violence in the outbreak area, which has hampered response and vaccination efforts.
Leaders from WHO and the United Nations visit the outbreak zone
Today leaders from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) arrive at the DRC to check in with outbreak response efforts.
Peter Salama, MD, WHO director general for emergency preparedness and response, said on Twitter that he would arrive at the DRC today with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, deputy secretary general for UN Peacekeepers.
"Looking forward to seeing our team again and hearing what other support they need to respond to #Ebola. Very proud of their tireless work under the most difficult conditions," Salama tweeted.
Last week, the United Nations ordered all armed rebel forces in the DRC to allow health workers and officials access in the outbreak zone, which has been the scene of fierce fighting among dozens of political groups, many of whom opposed efforts to respond to the outbreak.
Uganda uses oktime vaccines for healthcare workers
Ainebyoona Emmanuel, senior public reorganization official for the Ugandan Ministry of Health, said on Twitter Uganda had officially approved the use of vaccines for health care workers, a step implied last week.
He said health workers who were going to do the immunization were undergoing retraining today and tomorrow and the first injection would be given on November 7.
Even though so far there have been no cases of overflowing in Uganda, there are some fears, and the country is preparing for the worst. The northern provinces of Kivu and Ituri borders Uganda, and more than 1 million refugees live in communities stretching across the border.
In the DRC to date, a total of 26,463 people in the DRC have been vaccinated against the virus, including 14,033 in Beni, 4,436 in Mabalako, 2,152 in Katwa, 1,663 in Mandima, and 1,435 in Butembo.
3 November update DRC
November 4th DRC update
Nov. 5 update DRC
Peter Salama Twitter account
Ainebyoona Emmanuel Twitter account