Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease - External Situation Report 20
The Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to respond to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite a multitude of challenges. By using proven public health measures as well as novel tools at hand, WHO remains confident the outbreak can be contained and brought to an end. During the reporting period (data from 11 to 16 December 2018), 39 new confirmed cases were reported from Komanda (9), Katwa (9), Mabalako (6), Beni (3), Kalunguta (3), Butembo (4), Kyondo (2), Oicha (1), Musienene (1) and Biena (1) – a newly affected area north-west of Butembo. Epidemiological links have been established between the recent cases in central Mabakalo and Biena Health Zone. Meanwhile, the recent case in Musienene comes 32 days after the last reported case. These events highlighting the high risk of both spread and reintroduction of the virus to previously affected areas, and the need to maintain vigilance in surveillance and all aspects of the response across North Kivu and Ituri, surrounding provinces and neighbouring countries.
As of 16 December 2018, a total of 539 EVD cases, including 491 confirmed and 48 probable cases (Table 1), have been reported from 15 health zones in the two neighbouring provinces of North Kivu and Ituri (Figure 1). Trends in case incidence (Figure 2) reflect the continuation of the outbreak across these geographically dispersed areas. A general decrease in the intensity of transmission in Beni has been observed in recent weeks. However, the outbreak is intensifying in Butembo and Katwa, and new clusters are emerging elsewhere. Over the last 21 days (25 November to 16 December 2018), 120 confirmed and probable cases were reported from 14 health zones, the majority of which were reported from the major urban centres and towns in Katwa (27), Beni (27), Butembo (17), Komanda (16) and Mabalako (12).
Seventeen additional deaths occurred during the reporting period. Overall, 315 cases have died (case fatality rate 58%), including 267 among confirmed cases. As of 16 December 2018, 184 cases have recovered and been discharged from Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs).
Three healthcare workers are among the new confirmed cases (one from Mabalako, one from Kalunguta and one from Musienene), bringing the total number of health workers affected to 53 (51 confirmed and two probable) with 18 deaths.
The MoH, WHO and partners continue to monitor and investigate all alerts in affected areas, in other provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in neighbouring countries. Since the last report was published, alerts were investigated in several provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as in South Sudan and Uganda. To date, EVD has been ruled out in all alerts outside of the abovementioned outbreak affected areas.