Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

DRC – Ebola/Cholera/Polio/Measles

Disease Outbreak News (DONs}
Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
18 July 2019
…The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in North Kivu and Ituri provinces continued this past week with similar transmission intensity to recent weeks. While the stability of the transmission intensity of the outbreak is an indication of the strong response efforts to limit local transmission in affected health zones, the spread of EVD into new geographical areas and continued insecurity in the affected regions continue to complicate the control of the outbreak.

A salient example of this is the confirmed case of EVD that was reported in Goma, a city of approximately two million inhabitants close to the Rwandan border, on 14 July 2019. The case was a man who travelled to the city from Beni by bus, visiting a local health centre on arrival where the alert was raised. He transferred the same day to the Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Goma, and died while being transferred to the ETC in Butembo. The case’s full travel history is known, and all contacts are being identified and followed-up. Vaccination of his contacts, and contacts of contacts, in Goma commenced on 15 July 2019. The confirmation of a case of EVD in the city of Goma had been long anticipated. Preparation activities, including the vaccination of health workers, intensive training in infection prevention and control, and heightened surveillance have been ongoing for more than six months. Neighbouring Rwanda is also conducting preparedness activities. Rumours of his contacts travelling to Bukavu, South Kivu, have been investigated and ruled out by response teams…

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Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern
17 July 2019 News release Geneva
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our efforts. We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system,” said Dr. Tedros. “Extraordinary work has been done for almost a year under the most difficult circumstances. We all owe it to these responders — coming from not just WHO but also government, partners and communities — to shoulder more of the burden.”…

“It is important that the world follows these recommendations. It is also crucial that states do not use the PHEIC as an excuse to impose trade or travel restrictions, which would have a negative impact on the response and on the lives and livelihoods of people in the region,” said Professor Robert Steffen, chair of the Emergency Committee…

“This is about mothers, fathers and children – too often entire families are stricken. At the heart of this are communities and individual tragedies,” said Dr. Tedros. “The PHEIC should not be used to stigmatize or penalize the very people who are most in need of our help.”…