The latest numbers from the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are in. They show a small rise in cases and in confirmed infections.
This week has seen some data cleaning/harmonization, reducing the number of suspect cases as they test negative for Ebola virus.
We’ve also seen some patients leave Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) prior to discharge, in order to visit a church and be with family. Outlets have been referring to these people as escapees, but they were never under lock-and-key.[1-3]
Two cases later died so they were in advanced stages of the disease. As we know well, Ebola virus doesn’t sprout wings and fly, so the threat does not “soar” unless people did have direct contact with these ill patients. Only time and testing will tell as to whether these two cases trigger new chains of infection.
We also saw the start of vaccinations in Mbandaka this week. Count to 10, and that should be the number of days after which those who were immunised should have mounted an immune response to Ebola virus.
The #Ebola ring vaccination began in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo (#DRC) on 21 May. Health workers and contacts in affected communities received the vaccine. Preparations continue to begin vaccination in other affected areas like Iboko and Bikoro. pic.twitter.com/aLCnmHDU7Z
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) May 26, 2018
NOTE: Vaccination started in Bikor and Iboko health zones, 28th May 2018.
This week also highlighted that no matter what whizz-bang vaccines and treatments you may have on offer, if you haven’t expended the time and resources to lay the groundwork of education built on trust and collaboration, you will find it an uphill battle to get the most out of those tools. 
- 2 Ebola patients escape from treatment facility in Congo, raising fears virus could spread
- Ebola virus patients escape quarantine to PRAY with 50 people then drop dead, threat soars
- 3 Ebola patients escape quarantine in large Congolese city amid growing outbreak
- Vaccines Alone Won’t Beat Ebola
- EPIDEMIOLOGICAL SITUATION, DRC MOH
Monday 28 May 2018
- Fixed typos and added a note about vaccination start in Iboko and Bikoro