It Seems The Tide — On Ebola — Is FINALLY Turning, In The DRC…

We are sorely in need of some good news, on the global communicable diseases front.

Even as Corona frightens the world, anew — we can report that the nearly two year long outbreak is abating in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

As disconcerting as Corona is, it is not even remotely as deadly as Ebola — fully two thirds of all those infected with Ebola die of the virus. [The current, analogous Corona figures are below ten per cent. In fact, the usual US flu is likely to kill more Americans than Corona in 2020.] We should remain vigilant, to be sure, just the same. Corona will be very dangerous to immune compromised individuals.

Back to the lead topic — only one new Ebola case was reported, country wide, in the last week — according to WHO’s latest situation briefing:

. . . .During the past week, the incidence of new Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases has remained low. . . . From 12 to 18 February, one new confirmed case was reported. The case was reported in Beni Health Zone, North Kivu Province and had an epidemiological link to a confirmed case reported on 5 February. . . . The ongoing programme for survivor care helps mitigate the risks of re-introduction events.

To maintain operations and prevent re-emergence of the outbreak, WHO is requesting funding. Under the Strategic Response Plan (SRP 4.1), WHO’s financial need for the Ebola Response from January to June 2020 is US $83 million. Thanks to the generosity of many donors during 2019, WHO has some carry-over funding, which has been applied to maintain operations through February 2020. USD $40 million is currently needed to ensure continuity of response and preparedness activities to bring the case incidence to zero, and continue building strong, resilient health systems. . . .

In the past 21 days (29 January to 18 February 2020), eight confirmed cases were reported from four health areas within two active health zones in North Kivu Province: Beni (n=7) and Mabalako (n=1). It has been more than 42 days since Butembo and Mambasa Health Zones reported new cases. The continued reduction of geographic spread of EVD cases and the declining trend in case incidence observed in the past 21 days are encouraging.

As of 18 February, a total of 3433 EVD cases were reported, including 3310 confirmed and 123 probable cases, of which 2253 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66%). . . .

To be sure, additional funding is still sorely needed for Ebola arrest efforts. Onward — bright, clear and cold here. Smiling. . . do be excellent to one another.


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