The number of new Ebola cases reported daily by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continued its steady increase over the last 3 days, with 35 new cases reported, 2 in Bunia, the capital of Ituri Province, which is home to about 366,000 people.
Bunia cases draw minister for health issues
The follow-up of cases in Bunia – the second largest city in the eastern DRC – follows the detection of an imported case. This weekend, DRC's Health Minister Oly Ilunga visited Kalenga, MD, the city to meet with provincial officials to assess the status of the response in the area, according to the DRC's Ministry of Health yesterday's update.
Last week, the Ministry of Health reported a case in Bunia that involved a contact of a previous case in the Rwampara health area who had denied follow-up and vaccination. In March, the city reported an infection in a 6-month-old baby. The latest cases bring the sum of the city to four.
The city has prepared for the arrival of several cases for several months and puts mechanisms in place quickly, the Ministry of Health said. Kalenga said that "putting public health measures in place is one thing, but it is mainly the society that needs to take ownership, accept protective measures and also vaccination, a way to break the transmission chain."
Bunia has only one Ebola transit center where people with suspected Ebola infections are awaiting their test results. Efforts have been made to transform Bunia's transit center into an Ebola treatment center, and health officials are planning to strengthen the Ituri province's health care system.
Several health workers infected
The 35 new cases are from nine different areas, including Beni (9), Lubero (8), Mabalako (7) and Mandima (5) and Bunia (2). The following sites each reported 1
Recent infections lift the outbreak to 2 239 cases, and today's World Health Organization (WHO) online Ebola dashboard suggests that the Ministry will report 8 more cases today, which would increase the total to 2,247.
In its daily update, the Ministry of Health reported 3 additional Ebola infections to healthcare professionals, all from Lubero. Two had been vaccinated, but the report did not say how long ago. The diseases bring the number of health professionals infected in the outbreak to 122, of which 39 were fatal.
Yesterday, the health authorities still investigated 276 suspected cases.
In the case of deaths, 27 people died in the DRC from Ebola, lifting the deaths over 1,500 to 1,506. Of the recent deaths, 12 occurred in the community – which entails the risk of transmission – and 15 occurred in Ebola treatment centers.
21. June DRC Report
22. June DRC report
23. June DRC report
WHO online Ebola dashboard