DR Congo + 25 more

WHO AFRO Outbreaks and Other Emergencies, Week 5: 26 January - 1 February 2019; Data as reported by 17:00; 1 February 2019



This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

  • Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Lassa fever in Nigeria
  • Cholera in Burundi
  • Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia.

For each of these events, a brief description, followed by public health measures implemented and an interpretation of the situation is provided.

A table is provided at the end of the bulletin with information on all new and ongoing public health events currently being monitored in the region, as well as recent events that have largely been controlled and thus closed.

Major issues and challenges include:

  • The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its sixth month since the declaration of the outbreak. Looking back, the outbreak has largely been controlled in Mangina, Béni, Komanda and Oicha, though flare-ups continue to occur in some of these areas. However, high transmission remains in Butembo and Katwa, partly driven by propagation of infections in private and public health centres. Moving forward, the response to the outbreak is being adapted and tailored to the local particular situations on the ground.

  • Nigeria is experiencing an outbreak of Lassa fever following a sharp increase in the incidence of cases and deaths over the past four weeks. The number of affected states has also increased. While the outbreak appears to follow the typical seasonal pattern of increased Lassa fever cases during the dry season, the trends in the past two years have been unprecedented. The national authorities in Nigeria (and countries in the Lassa fever belt) need to enhance their preparedness and response capacities to avoid escalation of the current outbreak.