The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ministry of Health (MOH) reports that the number of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases has reached 505 (457 confirmed/48 probable). Nearly 300 deaths have been recorded to date.
Health alerts were issued for the city of Goma–
- An alert has been notified to the Rutshuru General Referral Hospital. The victim died in hospital after presenting bleeding signs. A sample was taken and the result of the laboratory test was negative.
- Contacts of a confirmed case of Beni traveling to Goma : The surveillance teams in Goma were looking for six people, three adults and three children, who had been in contact with a confirmed case of Beni. Before receiving the results of the laboratory tests of their deceased relative in Benithese six contacts had started for Goma, traveling in two separate groups. They had to go to relatives living in Mabanga South, a district of Goma. A mother and her two children were found at Kanyabayonga on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, and agreed to return to Beni to complete their 21-day follow-up period. The second group of travelers, consisting of the other two adults with the third child, arrived in South Mabanga on the night of Tuesday, December 11th. The child had a fever and the three people were immediately transferred to the Goma Ebola Treatment Center to perform the necessary tests. The laboratory test being negative.
UNICEF reported this week that children now account for more than one third of the Ebola cases in affected regions of the eastern DRC.
The UN children’s agency also reported that one in ten Ebola cases is under five-years-old, while children who contract the Ebola virus are at higher risk of dying from the disease than adults.
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“We are deeply concerned by the growing number of children confirmed to have contracted Ebola,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Marie-Pierre Poirier, returning this week from Beni, one of the current epicentres of the Ebola outbreak. “The earlier children infected with Ebola receive treatment in a specialized health facility, the greater their chances of survival. Community mobilization and public awareness activities are also crucial to ensuring early detection and quick referral of suspected cases to Ebola treatment centres.”
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The impact of the disease on children goes beyond those who have been infected. When parents or caregivers with the disease are taken to treatment centres or pass away, some children are left on their own. UNICEF and its partners have so far identified more than 400 children who have been orphaned or left unaccompanied because of the virus. The growing number of separated children is linked to the high caseload of patients in the Ebola treatment centres of Beni and Butembo, the current epicentres of the disease.
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