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Disease Outbreak News

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri outbreak

No new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 27 April 2020 (Figure 1).

The source of infection of the cluster reported in April 2020 remains unconfirmed.

From 27 May to 2 June 2020, an average of 2870 alerts were reported per day, of which 2867 (over 99%) were investigated within 24 hours. Of these, an average of 438 alerts were validated as suspected cases each day, requiring specialized care and laboratory testing to rule-out EVD. The number of reported and validated alerts has remained stable in recent weeks. Timely testing of suspected cases continues to be provided from eight laboratories. From 25 to 31 May 2020, 3017 samples were tested including 2295 blood samples from alive, suspected cases; 308 swabs from community deaths; and 414 samples from re-tested patients. Overall, the number of samples tested by the laboratories was similar to the previous week.

As of 2 June 2020, a total of 3463 EVD cases, including 3317 confirmed and 146 probable cases have been reported, of which 2280 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66%), and 1171 have recovered. Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 57% (n=1970) were female, 29% (n=1002) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (n=171) were health care workers.

Handover of outbreak response and surveillance activities from the central government and International partners to the Provincial Health Department (DPS) started on 1 June.

Équateur outbreak

On 1 June 2020, the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO of a new outbreak of EVD in Mbandaka city, Équateur Province which involved an initial cluster of four deaths that occurred between 18 and 30 May 2020.

Figure 1: Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases by week of illness onset by health zone, North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri Provinces. Data as of 2 June 2020*

*Excludes n=68/3463 cases for whom onset dates not reported. Data in recent weeks are subject to delays in case confirmation and reporting, as well as ongoing data cleaning. ‘Non-active zones’ indicate health zones that have not reported new cases in the last 42 days.

Table 1: Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases, and number of health areas affected, by health zone, North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo, data as of 2 June 2020**

**Total cases and areas affected during the last 21 days are based on the initial date of case alert and may differ from date of confirmation and daily reporting by the Ministry of Health.

Public health response

For further information about public health response actions by the Ministry of Health, WHO, and partners, please refer to the latest situation reports published by the WHO Regional Office for Africa:

WHO risk assessment – North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri Provinces

On 14 April 2020, WHO revised the risk assessment for this event from High to Moderate at the national and regional levels, while the risk level remained Low at the global level. The risk assessment will be continuously reassessed in the coming days based on available and shared information.

For further information, please see the Statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 14 April 2020

WHO advice

WHO advises against any restriction of travel to, and trade with, the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the currently available information regarding this EVD outbreak. Any requirements for certificates of Ebola vaccination are not a reasonable basis for restricting movement across borders or the issuance of visas for travellers to/from the affected countries. WHO continues to closely monitor and, if necessary, verify travel and trade measures in relation to this event. Currently, no country has implemented travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic to and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in relation to this EVD outbreak. Travellers should seek medical advice before travel and should practise good hygiene. Further information is available in the WHO recommendations for international traffic related to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For more information, please see:

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