The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today said Ebola infections have been confirmed in 23 more people, a record number for one day, coming on the heels of worsening conditions in hard hit areas of North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
The surge of cases, which often happens after attacks on the Ebola response, puts the new outbreak total within striking distance of 1,400 cases, and today the fatality count reached 900.
The 23 new cases are from eight different locations, 9 of them in Katwa, one of the main epicenters and the scene of one of the recent violent episodes that stalled important response activities—including case finding and contact tracing—that are key steps in battling the outbreak. The other new cases are from Mandima (3), Musienene (2), Butembo (2), and one each in Kalunguta, Vuhovi, Komanda, and Mabalako.
Health officials are also investigating 260 suspected cases. The new cases announced by the DRC health ministry today boost the outbreak total to 1,396 cases, which includes 1,330 confirmed and 66 probable infections.
Ten more people died from their infections, putting the fatality count at 900. Eight of them died in their communities, a factor known to increase the risk of virus transmission, given that viral loads are highest during severe illness and at death and that those caring for loved ones in homes don't have personal protective equipment to protect against Ebola. Two of the deaths occurred at Katwa's Ebola treatment center.
The number of people vaccinated with the VSV-EBOV vaccine continues to rise, and since the campaign began in early August, 105,757 people have been immunized, more than half of them in the three main hot spots: Katwa, Beni, and Butembo.
Apr 26 DRC statement