DRC records more Ebola as presidential election is called

Friday, January 11, 2019
By Paul Martin

Jan 10, 2019

Early this morning, election officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) called Felix Tshisekedi the winner of the presidential election held on Dec 30.

Tshisekedi opposed the candidate handpicked by the departing president, Joseph Kabila, and some groups have already called the victory an “election coup,” according to a story in The Guardian, because Tshisekedi also bested Martin Fayulu, who held a healthy polling lead going into the election. Scattered violent protests have already been reported.

In research news, tests in animals show promise for a new monoclonal antibody therapy.

Three new cases
Against the election backdrop, new cases of Ebola are still being recorded in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Yesterday the DRC recorded a new case in Katwa and a new community death from Ebola in the same town. Community deaths pose a greater risk of transmission than those that take place in a hospital or Ebola treatment center.

As of yesterday, the Ebola outbreak stands at 628 cases, of which 580 are confirmed. There have been 383 deaths, and the DRC said data on the number of cases still under investigation was not available.

Today the DRC health ministry said cases rose to 630, reflecting 2 new cases, both confirmed and fatal, with 122 suspected cases still under investigation. The new deaths are in Katwa and Biena, and both occurred in the community.

DRC officials also noted that the number of people vaccinated has now topped 58,000.

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