Over the past few days, 14 more suspected cases have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak, and one more patient has died from the disease, according to one of the top World Health Organization (WHO) officials leading the response.
Peter Salama, MD, the WHO's deputy director-general of emergency response, said on Twitter today that, of the new suspected cases, 3 are from Jun 9 and 11 are from Jun 8. Samples from 12 earlier suspected patients were negative for Ebola virus, putting the overall outbreak total at 66, including 38 confirmed cases, 14 probable infections, and 14 suspected illnesses.
He said the death occurred in a known confirmed case, which nudges the fatality total to 28.
Over the weekend, Salama said the next phase of the response revolves around expeditionary surveillance, which the WHO has said will now target Iboko, a remote community in a heavily forested part of the DRC. On Twitter, he said teams of epidemiologists are fanning out over hundreds of kilometers through remote rainforests.
Yesterday WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, arrived back in the DRC to assess the outbreak response progress, which has now been under way for 1 month. Tedros, who goes by his first name, will also visit the Central African Republic, a neighboring country that is especially vulnerable to the spread of Ebola.
In a statement yesterday, he said, "It’s far too early to declare victory, but the signals are positive and we are cautiously optimistic." He added that the battle has been waged with new weapons against Ebola, actions of the DRC government and its partners, and a sense of urgency to save lives.
"We will remain vigilant until this outbreak is over." Tedros said.
Peter Salama Twitter page
Jun 9 WHO statement