Ebola cases hit 736 in Congo as South Sudan begins vaccination campaign

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed 15 additional Ebola cases, bringing the total case count to 736 as of Jan. 28, reports CIDRAP News.

Three things to know:

 1. Of the 736 Ebola cases, 682 are confirmed. Health officials also reported 459 confirmed and probable deaths linked to the outbreak. They are still investigating another 161 suspected Ebola cases.

2. Of the 15 new confirmed cases, four occurred in the city of Katwa — the outbreak's current hot spot. Congo's health ministry said local groups in Katwa have hindered health workers' response efforts to vaccinate locals, perform household decontamination and conduct safe burials. Many Katwa residents are also denying Ebola exists and refusing vaccinations.

3. South Sudan, which shares a border with Congo near the outbreak zone, launched an Ebola vaccination campaign Jan. 28. The country will vaccinate health workers and first responders in several high-risk cities in case the outbreak crosses the border.

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