By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The one year anniversary of the 10th Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has come and past and things aren’t looking much better.
According to the DRC Ministry of Health, Since the beginning of the epidemic, the cumulative number of cases is 2,713 with 1,823 deaths as of Aug, 1. 148 cases have been reported in health workers.
During the first eight months of the epidemic, until March 2019, more than 1,000 cases of Ebola were reported in the affected region. However, between April and June 2019, this number has doubled, with a further 1,000 new cases reported in just these three months.
The intensity of the outbreak is fierce with an average of 85 cases per week (range 79 to 91 cases per week) in the past six weeks.
The number of cases of EVD have risen in the city of Goma. The World Health Organization (WHO) offers the details:
On 30 July, a confirmed EVD case was reported in Nyiragongo Health Zone on the outskirts of Goma city. The case worked as a miner in Ituri Province and travelled down through several outbreak hotspots, where he likely acquired the disease. Currently, there is no indication that the case had links to the to the first case identified in Goma on 14 July. Given that he was ill and in the community for several days before presenting to a health facility, secondary transmission to close contacts was anticipated. Two family members, a child and spouse, have subsequently tested positive and are receiving care in the Goma Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC). Other suspected cases among contacts are awaiting test results.
More than 171,000 people have been vaccinated using an investigational Ebola vaccine (Merck’s unlicensed VSV-ZEBOV) , including frontline healthcare workers and other people who are at risk for Ebola, such as contacts of known Ebola cases.
Now researchers in Uganda have launched the largest-ever trial of the experimental Ebola vaccine that is expected to be deployed in neighboring Congo. The vaccine is from Janssen Pharmaceuticals and the trial is expected to involve up to 800 people.
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