Following several major security incidents in recent weeks, there has been a continued steady increase in number of cases reported during the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The increase is due to responders being unable to access communities while movements were restricted for security reasons. Particularly in Butembo and Katwa, response has been reduced to a “stop and go” pattern, where a day or two of activity is followed by a day or two of suspended or limited activity. Meanwhile, security measures have been strengthened at many healthcare facilities to aid the resumption of critical healthcare services. Community engagement efforts aimed at better integrating a range of response activities into communities, restoring trust between response workers and community members, and encouraging suspected cases to seek medical attention earlier to help improve their chances of survival, remain ongoing. A total of 110 new confirmed cases were reported this week; these numbers are likely to continue to increase due to a backlog, resulting from the interruption to the response activities. Most of these cases originated from hotspot areas within the Katwa, Mandima, Mabalako, Butembo, and Kalunguta health zones.
In the 21 days between 22 April – 12 May 2019, 90 health areas within 17 health zones reported new cases, representing 52% of the 173 health areas affected to date (Table 1 and Figure 2). During this period, a total of 343 confirmed cases were reported, the majority of which were from the health zones of Katwa (30%, n=102), Mabalako (13%, n=45), Mandima (13%, n=45), Butembo (12%, n=40), Kalunguta (9%, n=31), Musienene (8%, n=29), and Beni (7%, n=25).
As of 12 May 2019, a total of 1705 EVD cases, including 1617 confirmed and 88 probable cases, were reported. A total of 1124 deaths were reported (overall case fatality ratio 66%), including 1036 deaths among confirmed cases. Of the 1705 confirmed and probable cases with known age and sex, 56% (951) were female, and 29% (502) were children aged less than 18 years. The number of healthcare workers affected has risen to 101 (6% of total cases).