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. While civil society in general remain supportive of the Ebola response, operations in some outbreak affected areas have been temporarily disrupted due to insecurity. The Organization’s priority is to end the outbreak, and we hope to return to normal operations as soon as possible, while remaining committed to ensuring the safety of all staff deployed. WHO continues to monitor the situation closely and will adapt the response as needed.
During the reporting period (data from 17 to 25 December 2018), 46 new confirmed cases were reported from Komanda (11), Katwa (11), Mabalako (6), Butembo (5), Beni (5), Kalunguta (3), Oicha (3), Musienene (1), and Nyankunde (1) – a newly affected area in Ituri province. The case in Nyankunde likely acquired the infection in Komanda, which highlights the high risk of continued spread of the outbreak and the need to strengthen all aspects of the response in Ituri, North Kivu and surrounding provinces and countries.
As of 25 December 2018, a total of 585 EVD cases, including 537 confirmed and 48 probable cases (Table 1), were reported from 16 health zones in the two neighbouring provinces of North Kivu and Ituri (Figure 1), of which 13 reported at least one confirmed case in the last 21 days (5-25 December 2018). Over this period, 117 confirmed cases were reported from 13 health zones, the majority of which were concentrated in major urban centres and towns in Katwa (30), Komanda (20), Beni (15), Butembo (15), and Mabalako (15), which remain the main hotspots of this outbreak.
Trends in case incidence (Figure 2) reflect the continuation of the outbreak across these geographically dispersed areas. The general decrease in the weekly incidence observed in Beni since late October is continuing; however, the outbreak is intensifying in Butembo and Katwa, and new clusters have emerged in other health zones.
Forty-one additional deaths among confirmed and probable cases occurred since our last report on 18 December 2018. Overall, 356 cases have died (case fatality 61%), including 308 among confirmed cases. As of 25 December 2018, 201 patients have recovered and been discharged from ETCs.
A healthcare worker from Mabalako has been reported among the new cases, bringing the number of healthcare workers affected to 54, 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.