The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues.
Since our last external situation report (data reported by 14 July 2019), 91 new confirmed EVD cases with an additional 75 deaths have been reported across the two affected provinces. We continue to observe sustained local transmission with a large number of cases in Beni Health Zone. In addition, cases continue to be exported from Beni to other health zones via the movement of cases and their contacts.
Intensive follow-up of contacts of the confirmed case who arrived in Goma on 14 July continues. Nineteen health workers were deployed from other posts to Goma to provide support in the response to this case. Rumours of contacts travelling to Bukavu and South Kivu have been investigated and ruled out by response teams. No new cases have been reported in Goma to date. There are currently no confirmed cases of EVD outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On 17 July 2019, the Director-General convened the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) to review the situation on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It was the fourth time the Director-General convened the Committee for this event since the declaration of the outbreak in August 2018 (previous meetings were held in October 2018, April 2019, and June 2019). The Director-General accepted the Emergency Committee’s recommendation that the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The decision was based on the recent developments in the outbreak, including the geographical expansion of the virus.
The declaration of the PHEIC is not a reflection on the performance of the response team but rather a measure that recognizes the possible increased national and regional risks and the need for intensified and coordinated action to manage them. The Committee and WHO do not recommend any restrictions on travel or trade, which can hamper the fight against Ebola by affecting the movement of people and supplies. Further information is available in the Statement on the Emergency Committee meeting, and WHO recommendations for international traffic related to the EVD outbreak.
Overall, EVD case incidence rates remained largely unchanged in the past week (Figure 1). In last 21 days, 65 health areas within 18 health zones reported new cases, representing 16% of the 664 health areas within North Kivu and Ituri provinces (Table 1 and Figure 2). During this period, a total of 254 confirmed cases were reported, the majority of which were from the health zones of Beni (52%, n=133), Mabalako (11%, n=28), Mandima (9%, n=22) and Katwa (7%, n=18) which are the main active areas in the outbreak.
As of 21 July 2019, a total of 2592 EVD cases, including 2498 confirmed and 94 probable cases, were reported. A total of 1743 death were reported (overall case fatality ratio 67%), including 1649 deaths among confirmed cases. Of the 2501 confirmed and probable cases with known age and sex, 56% (1458) were female, and 28% (737) were children aged less than 18 years. The cumulative number of health workers affected is 140 (5% of total cases).