Ebola Virus Disease - Democratic Republic of the Congo: External Situation Report 5 (19 May 2017)
1. Situation update
WHO, UN Agencies, International organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and partners continue to support the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of Congo to rapidly investigate and respond to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province located in the northeast of the country.
On 19 May 2017, three new EVD cases were reported, including one probable case in Ngayi and two suspected cases in a new health area called Ngabatala. The suspected cases are being investigated and will be classified accordingly. As of 19 May 2017, a total of 32 EVD cases [two confirmed, three probable and 27 suspected] have been reported. To date, four deaths have been reported, giving a case fatality rate of 13%. The reported cases are from five health areas, namely Nambwa (11 cases and two deaths), Muma (three cases and one death), Ngayi (14 cases and one death), Azande (two cases and no deaths), and Ngabatala (two cases and no deaths). Most of the cases presented with fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and other bleeding symptoms and signs. The outbreak currently remains confined to Likati Health Zone. According to available information at this stage, no healthcare workers have been affected.
Out of the five blood samples analysed at the national reference laboratory, Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa, two were confirmed Zaire ebolavirus. At least 416 close contacts have been registered in Likati Health Zone and are being monitored.
This EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo was notified to WHO by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on 11 May 2017. The cluster of cases and deaths of previously unidentified illness have been reported since late April 2017. Likati Health Zone shares borders with two provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and with the Central African Republic (Fig. 1). The affected areas are remote and hard to reach, with limited communication and transport networks. The current outbreak is the eighth EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the disease was first discovered in 1976 in Yambuku (then Zaire).