After reporting 16 new Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases on Mar.22 and 23, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) health ministry officials now put the outbreak total over 1,000 cases.


Six new cases were reported on Mar. 22–3 in Katwa, 1 in Butembo, 1 in Vuhovi and 1 in Oicha and 10 on Mar. 23–4 in Vuhovi, 2 in Katwa, 2 in Butembo, 1 in Beni and 1 in Lubero.

According to a release today (computer translated), the Ministry of Health reports a cumulative total of 1,009 cases since the beginning of the outbreak.

629 EVD deaths have been reported to date.

In a message from the DRC Minister of Health, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, he states:

The Ebola outbreak in the provinces of North Kivu has exceeded the threshold of 1,000 cases.

Before being a public health emergency, an Ebola epidemic is above all a human and social tragedy. Behind these numbers are several hundred Congolese families directly affected by the virus and hundreds of orphans. 

The response, led under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with its partners, has limited the geographical spread of the epidemic for more than eight months. To date, the epidemic has not spread in the other provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo or in neighboring countries, although the risk remains. 

The many scientific innovations included in the response strategy have greatly contributed to these results. Targeted vaccination has helped protect more than 91,000 people, including nearly 23,000 high-risk contacts who have been in direct contact with confirmed Ebola patients. Improving the quality of supportive care and the use of therapeutic molecules have increased the average survival rate in Ebola Treatment Centers (ETCs) to more than 60%. Thus, more than 6 in 10 people who are admitted to ETC survive. 
However, beyond medical advances, only community ownership of the Ebola response can lead to the ultimate end of the most deadly Ebola outbreak in our country’s history. In all health zones where the Ebola response has been appropriate, such as Beni, Mabalako and Tchomia, transmission of the virus has been halted. 
The community has a collective and individual responsibility to stop the spread of the virus and protect its members by not giving in to calls for violence, rumors and fake experts. Every member of the community, at his level, has a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus. 
Thus, the first link in the Ebola response is not at the level of health workers in health facilities but in the community. The response begins at the level of the mother who brings her sick child to the health center and accepts that a sample is taken for the laboratory. It is also based on the head of the family, who accepts that all family members are vaccinated after one of them has been infected with Ebola. 

Today, CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield tweeted: Sadly, today we surpassed 1,000 cases of in DRC. CDC will continue to work 24/7 with our partners in DRC, neighboring countries, & around the world to contain & control spread of Ebola and bring this outbreak to an end.