DR Congo's Ebola outbreak claims more lives, vaccinations under way

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province claimed more lives as the count...

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 1:21 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 1:21 PM

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province claimed more lives as the country's Health Ministry announced on Thursday a new death in the city of Mabalako.

At least 37 people have died so far in this latest outbreak, the 10th for country.

Africa

Central Africa

Continents and regions

Democratic Republic of Congo

Diseases and disorders

Ebola

Epidemics and outbreaks

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Health and medical

Health departments

Infectious diseases

Life forms

Microscopic life

Non-profit and NGO organizations

Public health

Public health administration

Viruses

World Health Organization

Communicable disease control

Vaccination and immunization

Ebola cases have also been reported in the towns of Beni, Butembo, Oicha, Musienene and Mandima, according to Congo's Health Ministry.

A total of 44 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been reported in the region, of which 17 are confirmed and 27 are probable, the ministry said in a statement Thursday. An additional 54 suspected cases are under investigation, the ministry said.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization confirmed that the latest cases in Congo's North Kivu province are part of the Zaire strain of the virus and that there is no link to a separate outbreak, which occurred in the western Equateur province that has since been declared over.

"It's good news and it's very bad news," WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama told journalists in Geneva, after the new cases were first confirmed.

"The bad news is that this strain of Ebola carries with it the highest case-fatality-rate of any of the strains of Ebola, anywhere above 50% and higher, according to previous outbreaks," he said. "So, it's the most-deadly variant of the Ebola virus strains that we have, that's the bad news. The good news is that we do have -- although it's still an investigational product -- a safe and effective vaccine, that we were able to deploy last time around."

According to WHO, this outbreak, which is in an active conflict zone, will be more complicated to contain than any that came before.

Experts believe an experimental vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, made a difference in containing the earlier outbreak and vaccinations are under way in North Kivu, WHO said. A total of 3,220 doses of the vaccine are currently available in Congo and supplementary doses have been requested, WHO said.

First line health workers, who had been in contact with people who were confirmed cases of Ebola, were the first to be vaccinated, WHO said.

"Vaccines are an important tool in the fight against Ebola," Congo's Health Minister, Oly Ilunga, said on Wednesday. "This is why it has been a priority to move them rapidly into place to begin protecting our health workers and the affected population."

North Kivu province is among Congo's most populated provinces, with eight million inhabitants, according to WHO and UN. Its capital is the city of Goma. The region has been experiencing intense insecurity and a worsening humanitarian crisis, with over one million internally displaced people and a continuous outflow of refugees to neighboring countries, including Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania.

WHO is working with partners in the local communities to provide information to residents on how to protect themselves from the deadly virus and answer their questions -- steps that are crucial to control an outbreak, said WHO.

Congo's Health Ministry announced on August 1 that a cluster of new Ebola cases have been confirmed, just days after it declared an outbreak in Equateur province that claimed 33 lives had ended. That outbreak was the ninth recorded outbreak that Congo has seen since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

'A very, very complex operation'

The longstanding conflict in eastern Congo presents a number of challenges for the medical teams as they try to contain the deadly virus.

Thousands in the region have been displaced by fighting between rebel groups and government forces.

People fleeing violence and crossing the border into neighboring countries, taking the infection with them, pose additional risks, said Salama, adding that measures at crossing points are being implemented.

"It's going to be a very, very complex operation," Salama told journalists in Geneva on Friday.

"On the scale of difficulty, trying to extinguish a deadly outbreak pathogen in a war zone" is at the top of the scale, he said, according to a UN transcript.

The main challenges during the previous Ebola outbreak in Equateur province involved tracing anyone who had come into contact with suspected carriers of the disease. WHO staff had to travel hundreds of miles on a motorbike to do this work, said Salama.

Containing the deadly virus amid the high level of insecurity in the Kivus could prove to be even more challenging, as getting access to people in danger of contracting Ebola would, in some cases, require an armed escort, he added.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46387

Reported Deaths: 2662
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11434680
Lake4985241
Elkhart313343
Allen2695117
St. Joseph185766
Cass16369
Hamilton1502100
Hendricks1371100
Johnson1244118
Porter69037
Tippecanoe6598
Madison64363
Clark62744
Bartholomew58044
Howard55057
LaPorte54125
Kosciusko5003
LaGrange4646
Jackson4583
Vanderburgh4576
Noble45128
Delaware42949
Boone42743
Hancock42535
Marshall4183
Shelby41825
Floyd37044
Morgan32331
Montgomery29020
Grant28726
Clinton2812
Monroe26328
Dubois2616
White25910
Decatur24732
Henry23615
Lawrence23624
Vigo2278
Harrison20822
Warrick20729
Dearborn20622
Greene18432
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1557
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1296
Franklin1248
Steuben1242
Perry1239
Ripley1148
Jasper1132
Carroll1092
Wabash1092
Fayette967
Newton9610
Whitley814
Randolph774
Starke773
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson661
Washington651
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay594
Rush563
Benton480
Adams471
Gibson462
Owen451
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer331
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52865

Reported Deaths: 2876
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9338407
Cuyahoga7013366
Hamilton5224198
Marion273138
Lucas2628302
Pickaway217641
Summit1969206
Montgomery178426
Mahoning1752228
Butler144844
Columbiana120960
Stark1052112
Lorain96267
Trumbull86362
Warren75721
Clark7399
Belmont53421
Delaware51815
Tuscarawas51510
Fairfield50316
Medina49132
Lake44316
Miami44231
Ashtabula42144
Portage41858
Licking41611
Geauga39042
Wood38451
Clermont3566
Wayne35452
Richland3185
Allen29740
Mercer2728
Darke23625
Erie22922
Greene2229
Holmes2043
Madison1888
Huron1772
Crawford1357
Ottawa13023
Washington12720
Sandusky12213
Morrow1151
Putnam11516
Hardin11312
Ross1092
Auglaize993
Monroe8617
Coshocton811
Jefferson802
Union801
Hancock761
Hocking767
Muskingum731
Preble661
Lawrence650
Williams652
Clinton620
Guernsey603
Shelby594
Logan581
Wyandot584
Fulton570
Ashland551
Brown531
Carroll513
Defiance483
Fayette460
Highland431
Knox391
Champaign381
Athens371
Scioto360
Seneca332
Perry301
Henry290
Van Wert270
Paulding230
Vinton222
Adams211
Pike200
Jackson170
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Noble110
Morgan90
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Angola
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 90°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
92° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 93°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Hot & Humid Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events