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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ebola Bundibugyo, Wednesday numbers

One of the World Health Organization experts told us that in the best case scenario we would see the number of cases cut in half each week. The admitted caseload peaked at 40 about 2 weeks ago, so with the current admissions numbering 6, things are looking pretty good.

Today's numbers:
- Cumulative cases: 130
- Cumulative deaths: 34 (CFR = 26.2%)
- Current admissions: Bundibugyo Hospital 1, with no new admissions, 3 discharged, and no deaths. Kikyo has 5 current, with 2 new cases (both identified from the pool of contacts who are being visited daily), 1 discharge and no deaths.
-Contacts: 571 total of which 450 are being actively followed (77 have finished their 21 day incubation monitoring and the remainder were lost to follow-up). 86.4% of the contacts were visited today.
-Lab confirmations: of the 108 samples sent for testing in the CDC/UVRI lab in Entebbe, 32 have been positive (29.6%). Of the 32 positive samples, 11 died (CFR = ~34%, slightly higher than the overall clinical CFR mentioned above)...probably closer to the "true" CFR of the Ebola-Bundibugyo strain (Btw, still waiting on that name to be officialized).

The District Task Force meeting continues to chase administrative details rather than medical or epidemiological questions. Today's issues related to the number of individuals of a village health team who could receive renumeration for assisting the surveillance teams and who would distribute food donated by the World Food Programme. Every confirmed Ebola case will receive a month's worth of food for a family of six.

My favorite anecdote of the meeting came out in the Surveillance Committee report. When a patient is discharged from either of the two MSF Isolation Units, they are asked to surrender all of their properties for incineration. Their mattress, their clothes, their toiletries...up in smoke -- along with any residual virus. Well, one patient was asked to surrender his cell phone (any studies out there on the duration of Ebola virus viability in a cell phone?)...which he relinquished without complaint. However, he did follow-up over the next couple of days with a couple of calls...and found that his phone is still in use! The surveillance committee is pointing the finger at the Isolation Ward staff for poaching the infected cell phone.

"Burn it or give it back," the patient has asked (he's not afraid...he's immune now).

1 comment:

tumwijuke said...

This is really good news. Thank you so much for keeping us updated about the epidemic everyday.