1. Situation Update
The Ministry of Health and WHO continue to closely monitor the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with cautious optimism. On 17 June 2018, one new suspected EVD case was reported in Itipo health area, Iboko Health Zone. Three laboratory specimens (from suspected cases reported previously) tested negative. Test results of nine suspected cases reported (previously) in Bikoro (4), Iboko (3) and Ingende (2) health zones are pending. Since 17 May 2018, no new confirmed EVD cases have been reported in Bikoro and Wangata health zones, while the last confirmed case-patient in Iboko Health Zone developed symptoms on 2 June 2018, was confirmed on 6 June 2018 and died on 9 June 2018.
Since the beginning of the outbreak (on 4 April 2018), a total of 62 EVD cases and 28 deaths have been reported, as of 17 June 2018. Of the 62 cases, 38 have been laboratory confirmed, 14 are probable (deaths for which it was not possible to collect laboratory specimens for testing) and 10 are suspected. Of the 52 confirmed and probable cases, 28 have died, giving a case fatality rate of 54%. Fifty-two percent (27) of the confirmed and probable cases are from Iboko, followed by 21 (40%) from Bikoro and four (8%) from Wangata health zones. A total of five healthcare workers have been affected, with four confirmed cases and two deaths.
The number of contacts requiring follow-up is progressively decreasing, with a total 1 417 completing the mandatory 21-day follow-up period. As of 17 June 2018, a total of 289 contacts were under follow up, of which 276 (96%) were reached on the reporting date.
On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO of an EVD outbreak in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. The event was initially reported on 3 May 2018 by the Provincial Health Division of Equateur when a cluster of 21 cases of an undiagnosed illness, involving 17 community deaths, occurred in Ikoko-Impenge health area. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), visited Ikoko-Impenge health area on 5 May 2018 and found five case-patients, two of whom were admitted in Bikoro General Hospital and three were in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge. Samples were taken from each of the five cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa on 6 May 2018. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018, and the outbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018. The index case in this outbreak has not yet been identified and epidemiologic investigations are ongoing, including laboratory testing.
This is the ninth EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the last four decades, with the most recent one occurring in May 2017.