Junior Ikomo, doctor at the Ebola Treatment Center, during a morning briefing. Photo: World Bank / Vincent Tremeau
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of Congo
Wed 28 Aug 2019. WHO Dashboard:
3004 cases (204 cases in past 21 days)
15 600 contacts being followed of 17 400 contacts identified
A 9-year-old Congolese girl who tested positive for Ebola in neighboring Uganda has died, officials said Friday [30 Aug 2019]. The young girl’s body will be repatriated with her mother back to Congo for a funeral, according to Dr. Eddy Kasenda, Ebola representative in the Congolese border town of Kasindi. See Washington Post, 30 August 2019
See also CIDRAP, 29 August 2019
On Wed 28 Aug 2019, the Sub-Coordination of the Response to Ebola Virus Disease organized a motorized caravan in the Katsya Health Area in Butembo in North Kivu Province. This caravan was intended to promote the end of Ebola in this health area.
More than 100 taximen from various associations of Butembo motorcyclists supported the caravan.
Since vaccination began on 8 Aug 2018, 206 774 people have been vaccinated. The only vaccine to be used in this outbreak is the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, manufactured by the pharmaceutical group Merck, following approval by the Ethics Committee in its decision of 20 May 2018.
To date, a total of 98 entry points and sanitary control points have been set up in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri to protect the country’s major cities and prevent the spread of the epidemic in neighboring countries.
Contact tracing is ongoing in 20 health zones. A total of 17 293 contacts are under follow-up as of 24 Aug 2019, of which 1568 have been seen in the past 24 hours, comprising 89% of the contacts, which is a higher percentage than during the past 7 days (85%). Alerts in the affected provinces continue to be raised and investigated. Of 2073 alerts processed (of which 1996 were new) in reporting health zones on 24 Aug 2019, 1973 were investigated and 396 (20%) were validated as suspected cases.
They comment: Ample information is available on the presence of Ebola virus in bodily fluids such as blood, urine, and semen, and on the prevention of transmission from these fluids. However, information on EVD and breastmilk is limited.
The repercussions of a lack of clarity on these questions are potentially enormous for DR Congo. If breastfeeding is wrongly discouraged, years of public health efforts to promote breastfeeding could be lost. Conversely, if breastfeeding is wrongly encouraged, many infants could be put at risk.