DR Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo – Ebola Outbreak (DG ECHO, WHO, DRC Ministry of Health, Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 30 June 2018)

EUCPM activation

  • The Ebola outbreak, which was declared on 8 May 2018, is not yet over but has been "largely contained" according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The organisation views the situation with "cautious optimism". The last confirmed case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) was reported on 6 June 2018. The incubation period of the Ebola virus is 21 days. The end of the outbreak will be declared once 42 days have passed without a new Ebola case.

  • The epidemiological situation on 28 June was as follows: In total, 56 reported cases with 38 confirmed EVD cases, 15 probable cases and three suspected ones. 29 people died. All remaining contacts and contacts-of-contacts of EVD patients have been followed up.

  • This ninth outbreak of Ebola in the DRC since the virus was discovered there in 1976 has been "the most challenging and complex outbreak the country has ever had to face, mainly because it started in two rural zones at the same time and quickly reached a city of more than one million inhabitants directly connected to Kinshasa", said the Congolese Minister of Health.

  • Ring vaccination with an experimental vaccine was a new element in the response and used for the very first time. It is seen as a paradigm shift for Ebola control. "The use of vaccination in this Ebola response has been a game-changer as it allowed us to break the chain of transmission and contain the virus more quickly", said Dr. Kalenga. In total, 3 330 persons – health workers and contacts – were vaccinated.

  • That the outbreak has not turned into an enormous epidemic has only been possible thanks to the rapid and robust response and the collective and intervention by national authorities, WHO and other international organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). WHO's response plan required USD 57 million and was quickly funded.

  • The European Union has mobilised all EU emergency response instruments, including humanitarian aid worth EUR 3.43 million (plus individual EU Member States' contributions), logistical support through the Commission's humanitarian air service called "ECHO Flight", and the activation of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) at the request of WHO which allowed for the deployment of medical personnel and equipment. As EU Ebola Coordinator, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, continues to follow the situation closely until it is safe to say the outbreak if over.