"DRC Ebola News (12/9/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 09, 2019. Accessed March 16, 2020. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-12-9-19/
There were 4 new cases reported on December 9th.
An Ebola survivor has fallen ill with the disease for the second time in North Kivu province. It is not yet clear if this is a case of relapse or reinfection.
Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will deliver 200,000 doses of its Ebola vaccine to Rwanda in an effort to support the country’s pandemic preparedness.
DRC MoH Statistics/WHO AFRO Dashboard (as of December 9)
Total cases: 3,324
- Confirmed cases: 3,206
- Probable cases: 118
- Suspected cases: 391
- 256,229 (Merck Vaccine)
- 1,300 (J&J Vaccine)
Congo authorities say Ebola survivor falls ill a second time
An Ebola survivor has fallen ill with the disease for a second time in Mabalako, North Kivu province, the Congolese health authorities said on Sunday, though it is not yet clear if it was a case of relapse or reinfection. This puts to question the working assumption that Ebola survivors generally have immunity from the disease. There have been no documented cases of reinfection but some researchers consider it to be at least a theoretical possibility, while the recurrence of a previous infection is considered extremely rare. “We have had cases where the virus persists in immune reservoirs,” said Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization (WHO). “In rare cases the virus can cause symptoms again. We are investigating now to see whether this was what happened.” Representatives from WHO and Congo’s National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) said tests were being carried out to determine what had happened.
Weekly bulletin on outbreaks and other emergencies
Since the last weekly bulletin on 1 December 2019, there have been seven new confirmed cases and six deaths reported in four health zones, Beni, Mabalako, Mandima, and Oicha. As of 7 December 2019, confirmed cases have been reported in 29 health zones. Response activities have cautiously restarted in Beni, Butembo, and Mangina, but the security situation remains tense and response activities are severely compromised. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities continue, with IPC briefing sessions for 298 providers in six health zones (Mangina, Butembo, Musienene, Kalunguta, Mambasa and Bunia); a supply of 49,070 liters of water was provided for handwashing facilities in Mambasa and Buinia health zones. The general decline in reported new cases has continued, although with response activities compromised in Beni, Butembo and Mangina, it is possible that cases and community deaths have not been recorded. The situation should be interpreted cautiously as officials monitor the impact of the disruption in response operations due to heightened insecurity and civil unrest.
Johnson & Johnson Announces Commitment to Support Republic of Rwanda’s Preparedness Against Ebola Outbreak
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced on 8 December that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies will provide up to 200,000 Ebola vaccine regimens to the Republic of Rwanda to help protect the country from the Ebola outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). “Johnson & Johnson recognizes the Rwandan Government’s decision to proactively deploy Janssen’s investigational Ebola vaccine to help prevent the spread of the disease into the country,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer of J&J. “We stand ready to support Rwanda’s initiative on epidemic preparedness.” The first batches of the Janssen vaccine have been delivered to the country, and further shipments are being organized. This initiative is part of a new vaccination program in Rwanda called Umurinzi, which will target 200,000 Rwandans ages two years and older in regions bordering the DRC judged to be at-risk. In parallel, an immunogenicity study and a clinical study in pregnant women are being discussed.
Tweet by Seth Berkley – 12/8/19
Proud that @Gavi’s emergency #Ebola program will also be used to protect the health workers who bravely risk their lives - in more ways than one - to treat and protect at-risk communities during outbreaks.
Tweet by WHO Rwanda – 12/8/19
Now joint launch of #Ebola J&J Vaccine between DRC&Rwanda at “La Grande Barriere” border. Minister of Health, Dr Diane Gashumba, Prof. Muyembe, DRC EVD Coordinator, Dr Soce Fall, ADG/WHO for Emergency, Dr Kasonde Mwinga, WHO Representative, North Kivu Vice-Governor were present.
Tweet by Helen Branswell – 12/7/19
Report of a person who had #Ebola, survived & was re-infected. Not clear if this is someone who didn’t clear the virus out of his system and relapsed. This has been seen before. Repeat infection, though? Not sure that’s been seen before. Anyone?