DRC records 17 new Ebola cases in nation's 3rd-largest outbreak

Safe Ebola burial
Safe Ebola burial

UNMEER, Martine Perret / Flickr cc

Over the weekend and today, officials recorded 17 more cases of Ebola and 10 more deaths in the ongoing outbreak in the far eastern reaches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Eleven of the new cases were in Beni, the outbreak epicenter, and the remaining 6 were recorded in nearby Butembo. The new infections bring the total number of cases to 274, including 139 deaths. Thirty-two suspected cases are under investigation.

At least one of the deaths over the weekend was a community death in Butembo, DRC officials said. Community deaths pose a greater threat of virus spread than those that occur in a hospital or Ebola treatment center because of the likelihood of added exposure.

From Oct 22 to Oct 28, DRC officials confirmed 36 new cases (28 in Beni and 8 in Butembo) and 19 deaths.  

Outbreak is DRC's 3rd largest

Though the outbreak is small compared with the 2014-2016 West African outbreak (which saw more than 28,000 cases), Congolese officials noted it has now surpassed the DRC's Luebo (Mweka) outbreak in 2007, when there were 265 recorded cases and 187 deaths.

The current outbreak, the country's 10th, is now the DRC's third largest, following the 1976 outbreak in Yambuku (318 cases) and 1995's outbreak in Kikwit (315 cases).

The outbreak is now the world's sixth largest since Ebola was first recorded in 1976.

Yesterday, 8,000 young people in Butembo and Beni were trained in Ebola response efforts, including a demonstration of a safe and dignified burial.  Officials said the efforts were meant to "increase the awareness actions for young people who are often at the root of resistance because of a lack of knowledge of the disease and its danger."

As of today, vaccination totals have reached 24,142 people in the DRC, including 12,464 in Beni and 1,295 in Butembo.

See also:

Oct 27 DRC report

Oct 28 DRC report

Oct 29 DRC report

CDC Ebola outbreak disease map

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