WHO: 29 new Ebola cases in past week, down from 57 in week before

Decontamination at Ebola treatment unit
Decontamination at Ebola treatment unit

UNMEER, Simon Ruf / Flickr cc

According to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO), daily Ebola case counts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have dropped nearly by half in the past few weeks, but violent skirmishes may be obscuring more cases.

In an outbreak news update yesterday, the WHO said officials confirmed 29 cases this past week, compared with 57 the week before.

"This decrease in the number of cases should be interpreted with caution, as operational and security challenges in certain health zones make it difficult to undertake case detection and response functions," the WHO said in its latest update on the 13-month-long outbreak in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces.

A recent increase in security incidents have caused problems with surveillance, the WHO said.

For the past 9 days response activity has been stopped in Lwemba, within Mandima health zone, which has limited contact-tracing efforts, with 169 and 162 contacts lost to follow-up in Lwemba and Mambasa, respectively.

"After more than a week with no response operations in Lwemba Health Area, within Mandima Health Zone, an increase in the number of reported cases is expected in the coming weeks as response activities resume," the WHO said.

Mambasa, Mandima, and Kalunguta remain the outbreak hot spots. In the past 3 weeks, the DRC recorded 126 confirmed cases from 13 health zones.

The case-fatality rate of the outbreak remains at 67%, with 56% of confirmed or probable cases in females, and 28% of cases involving children. Health workers represent 5% of cases (161).

Three new cases today

Today the WHO's Ebola dashboard shows 3 new cases, raising the outbreak total to 3,183, including 2,126 deaths. A total of 482 suspected cases are still under investigation.

In the latest daily update from the DRC's multisector Ebola committee (CMRE), the group said the 3 new cases confirmed yesterday were in Mandima (2) and Mambasa (1).

Vaccination continues throughout the region, with 228,430 people vaccinated as of yesterday, the CMRE said.

See also:

Sep 26 WHO report

WHO Ebola dashboard

Sep 27 CMRE report

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