November 27 attacks result in four response worker deaths, disrupt response activities in EVD hotspots
Despite relatively low weekly case counts, EVD reappears in several previously affected health zones
USAID/OFDA partners continue delivering critical support in EVDaffected areas
High population mobility in Ebola virus disease (EVD)-affected areas of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to increase the risk of EVD resurgence in areas without recent active transmission, response actors report. From December 23 to January 12, the three most recent epidemiological weeks, health actors confirmed EVD cases in four health zones in Ituri and North Kivu provinces where no new cases had been reported in more than 42 days; the health zones include Ituri’s Mambasa Health Zone and North Kivu’s Kalunguta, Katwa, and Musienene health zones. At least one of the cases—the one confirmed in Musienene—was epidemiologically linked to cases in North Kivu’s Mabalako Health Zone, the current transmission hotspot.
Recent and ongoing insecurity—including November and December armed group attacks and continued threats against the EVD response—has continued to disrupt response activities in several EVD-affected areas, reducing already limited access for response teams and further jeopardizing recent progress in curbing disease transmission.
Despite an average case count of only 12 confirmed cases per week during the three most recent epidemiological weeks, health actors report that community engagement, surveillance, and other critical response activities continue to require strengthening. To limit further EVD spread and ultimately contain the outbreak, USAID/OFDA partners continue to augment response efforts in current and emerging transmission hotspots, most recently responding to an EVD case cluster in Mabalako’s Aloya health area.