1. Situation update
In the past week, from 26 August to 1 September, 59 new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, with an additional 45 deaths, have been reported from seven health zones in three affected provinces in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In the 21 days from 12 August to 1 September 2019, 58 health areas in 17 health zones reported new cases, (Table 1, Figure 2). During this period, a total of 193 confirmed cases were reported, with the majority coming from the health zones of Beni (20%, n=39), Kalunguta (15%, n=28), and Mandima (12%, n=23). The incidence of new cases in Beni Health Zone has improved, with seven new cases reported in the last week, compared to up to 48 new cases per week observed five weeks ago.
Mambasa Health Zone, however, continues to show signs of an emerging hotspot, with 19 reported cases in the past 21 days in five health areas. In addition, sustained local transmission has been observed in Mutwanga Health Zone, with 13 cases reported in the last 21 days (Table 1). This health zone borders Uganda’s Kasese District and the shores of Lake Edward, posing added risks of spread within the region.
This risk was highlighted this week by the confirmation of a case in Uganda on 29 August 2019. The case was a young child who was exposed and developed symptoms in Mutwanga Health Zone, before she was identified at the Mpondwe-Kasindi border point of entry (PoE) when travelling with her mother to seek medical care. The case was immediately transported to an Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Bwera, Uganda. While a limited number of potential contacts are currently under surveillance, there have not been any further cases confirmed in Uganda to date.
Two additional cases have been reported in South Kivu’s Mwenga Health Zone, bringing the total to six confirmed cases since 15 August 2019. These new cases were from individuals who were under surveillance, and they were able to quickly receive care when they became ill. As of 1 September 2019, a total of 3036 EVD cases were reported, including 2931 confirmed and 105 probable cases, of which 2035 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 67%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases with reported sex and age, 58% (1763) were female, and 28% (857) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (156) were healthcare workers.
Under Pillar 1 of the current Strategic Response Plan, the estimated funding requirement for all partners for the period July to December 2019 is US$ 287 million, including US$ 120-140 million for WHO. As of 27 August 2019, US$ 45.3 million have been received by WHO, with further funds committed or pledged. Current available funds will close the financing gap up until the end of September 2019.
Further resources are needed to fund the response through to December 2019 and WHO is appealing to donors to provide generous support. A summary of funding received by WHO since the start of this outbreak can be found here.