Congo-Kinshasa: Number of Ebola Cases in North Kivu on The Rise

Health workers practice proper donning of protective gear during the training on vaccination against Ebola.

The recent escalation in the number of  Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases continues in the North Kivu provinces of  the  Democratic  Republic  of  the  Congo.  This  past  week  saw 65 new  confirmed  cases  reported  in  the  last seven days, predominantly from the areas ofKatwa, Mandima, Butembo, and Vuhovi. During the last 21 days (18 March to 7 April 2019), 58health areas within 13health zones reported new cases; 42%of the 137health areas affected to date (Table 1 and Figure 2). During this period, a total of 199confirmed cases were reported from  Katwa  (69),  Vuhovi  (36),  Mandima  (30),  Beni  (18),  Butembo  (16),  Masereka  (13),  Oicha  (8),  Kayna  (2), Lubero (2), Musienene (2), Kalunguta (1), Bunia (1) and Mabalako (1). As of 7 April 2019, 1154EVD cases, including 1088confirmed and 66probable cases, were reported. A total of 731 deaths  were  reported  (overall  case  fatality  ratio 63%), including  665 deaths  among  confirmed  cases. Ofthe1154  confirmed  and  probable  cases  with  reported  age  and  sex,  57%  (662)  were  female,  and29%  (331)were children aged less than 18 years. The number of healthcare workers affected has risen to 85, including 30 deaths, with three new health workers among the newly confirmed cases in Katwa and one in Musienene.This  week  also  saw  further  strengthening  of  Infection,  Prevention  and  Control  (IPC)  activities  in  the  various outbreak  hotspots. IPC  teams  on  the  ground  are  partaking  in  community  dialogues  with  localleaders  of different health zones to address persistingcommunity reluctance related todecontaminationefforts. Current IPC activities continue to be vigorously conducted as per protocol, with IPC rings open around every confirmed case. This includes decontamination of the healthcare facilities and homes, rapid evaluation of IPC practices at healthcare  facilities,  and  identification  of  other  healthcare  facilities  within  a  500m  (urban)  or  1km  (rural) radius due to being at high risk of receiving contacts of the case. Based on the results of the healthcare facilityassessments, IPC teams follow up with supportive supervision to address any IPC gaps identified, which range from  once  a  day  to  once  a  week  depending  on  severity.WHO  is  confident  that  a  robust  implementation  of effective IPC measures will aid in slowing the spread of EVD in hotspot areas in the coming weeks.

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