Monday, May 14, 2018

[U X3] Congo 2018 Ebola Outbreak: Bikoro Update -- 22 Probable And Confirmed Cases -- May 14, 2018

UPDATED -- 06.07.2018 @ 10 AM EDT: Wisely, the Trump Administration has decided to reverse the funding cut of $252 million it earlier ordered, related to Ebola outbreak funding. End, update.

UPDATED 05.15.2018 @ 1:00 PM EDT -- There are suddenly 19 dead, and two of them are health care workers (greatly increasing the odds that the virus has now been transmitted regionally). This is how explosively dangerous the virus in the wild can be. On the plus side, here at lunch however, WHO has obtained clearance to vaccinate, from local health authorities. And starting now the initial up to 4,000 doses are being administered, in Bikoro region.

Even so, the WHO team is tracking at least 400 contacts of contacts. We should expect that as many as a third of those may become sero-positive, without a vaccine. This all via a Wa Po update. Sure is a good thing that just last week, 45 cut the remaining $250 million of US funding for Ebola fighting efforts in Africa, calling a working (life-saving!) vaccine candidate. . . "wasteful." I am beyond disgusted by him (this is more of his "shithole-self", emerging). [End, updated portion.]

As I had intoned earlier, the news will be worse for a while, before it starts to get better.

First, though, on the more hopeful side: Merck's "cold chain" delivery logistics seem to have worked: large numbers of Ebola vaccine vials, still at sub-zero (and thus likely plenty-potent), are on the ground now in and around Bikoro. Next, WHO health workers, well-trained, and battle-tested, from last time around (in Guinea and the Congo), are on-site, and collecting contacts-of-contacts data (for vaccination deliveries). Finally (on the plus side of the ledger), a smallish airstrip is being cut out of the verdant but mountainous, and twistedly tangled forest -- around Bikoro -- to speed future aid and medical personnel arrivals.

And now, the as-expected bad news: case counts are increasing (from 11 as of Friday, last), thus (per WHO-tweets):

. . . .Latest case count:

2 confirmed cases

20 probable

17 suspected. . . .

That's likely 39, from what was 11 only four days ago. Time to start vaccinating all contacts of contacts, in and around Bikoro. To the trains -- in a cool, foggy rain, then. . . . be of good cheer, just the same.


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