Ebola cases rise by 13, with spread in insecure and border areas

Sept. 10, 2019

Ebola transmission in the affected Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) region is still substantial, with new hot spots emerging in areas with limited access and security problems, posing more challenges for response teams, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today in its weekly snapshot of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the country reported 13 new infections per University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) as of September 6, boosting the overall outbreak total to 3,069 cases. Since the WHO's last update on Aug 29, the DRC reported 57 new cases, with intensity of transmission still substantial, according to the group's latest update.

Some hot spots such as Beni show signs of cooling off, but the WHO said concerns are growing about emerging clusters in Kalunguta, Mandima, and Mambasa health zones—areas where access is limited and security problems persist. The WHO said response activities in those areas have been somewhat hindered.

Another worry is sustained transmission in areas that pose a risk of regional spread. Those include Mutwanga and Kayna health zones, which are on the shores of Lake Edward and are on the border with Uganda.

Underscoring that threat was an Ebola case confirmed in a child who was exposed and got sick in Mutwanga health zone. Her illness was identified at an entry point as she and her mother tried to seek medical care in Uganda. The girl, whose illness marked Uganda's fourth imported case, died from her infection on Aug 30. The WHO said a limited number of the girl's contacts are under surveillance, and so far no further Ebola cases have been detected in Uganda.

Get the full report at CIDRAP.