Over the weekend, today, 13 more cases and 5 more deaths from Ebola have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the 3-month outbreak of the North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
Only one of the cases is from Butembo and Beni, the current hotspots of viruses. Two of the new cases, a young mother and her 2-week-old child, were diagnosed in Beni and then transferred to an Ebola treatment center in Mabalako at the request of the family. Another patient is from Kalunguta.
The number of outbreaks now stands at 300 cases (265 confirmed, 35 probable), including 186 deaths. In addition, 41 suspected cases are still under investigation.
The outbreak, the tenth country, is third in size. It began in Mabalako in early August, just weeks after the DRC declared the end of another epidemic of Ebola in the western part of the country. This outbreak was quickly brought to an end after Merck's experimental vaccine was implemented in a ring vaccination program that targeted case contacts and contact contacts.
The current outbreak has been marked by the effects of viruses and violence in the epidemic region, which has hampered response and vaccination efforts.
WHO and UN leaders to visit the focus area
Today, the leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) arrived in the DRC to check out their reaction to the outbreak.
Peter Salama, WHO Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said on Twitter that he will come to the DRC today with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Undersecretary of the United Nations Forces of peace.
"We look forward to seeing our teams again and hearing what other support they need for the #Ebola response, so proud of their continued work in the most difficult conditions," Salama said.
Last week, the United Nations ordered all the armed forces in the DRC to allow health workers and officials to access the outbreak, which was the site of violent behavior among dozens of political groups, many of whom oppose the response efforts at epidemic.
Uganda uses the vaccine for health workers
Ainebyon Emmanuel, the senior public reorganization officer for the Uganda Ministry of Health, said on Twitter that Uganda formally approved the use of the vaccine for health care workers, a move suggested last week.
He said health workers who are going to immunize are being recycled today and tomorrow, and the first injections will be administered on Nov. 7.
Although so far there has been no leakage in Uganda, there have been more fears, and the nation is preparing for the worst case. The northern provinces of Kivu and Ituri border Uganda, and more than 1 million refugees live in the communities that are moving to the border.
In today's DRC, a total of 26,463 people in the DRC were vaccinated against the virus, including 14,033 in Beni, 4,436 in Mabalako, 2,152 in Katwa, 1,663 in Mandima, and 1,435 in Butembo.
November 3 update DRC
November 4 update DRC
November 5, the DRC update
Peter Salama Twitter account
Ainebyoona Emmanuel Twitter account