Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Ebola Outbreak in DRC 84: 17 March 2020
There have been no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported since 17 February 2020. On 3 March 2020, the only person confirmed to have EVD in the last 21 days (Figure 1) was discharged from an Ebola Treatment Centre after recovering and testing negative twice for the virus. On 9 March, the last 46 contacts finished their follow-up. These are important milestones in the outbreak. However, there is still a high risk of re-emergence of EVD, and a critical need to maintain response operations to rapidly detect and respond to any new cases, to prioritize ongoing support and health monitoring for survivors – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak….
Given the long duration and large magnitude of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a high risk of re-emergence of the virus during the lead up to the declaration of the end of the outbreak, and for several months following that declaration. These risks are exacerbated by potential limitations (e.g. shortages funding, access to communities, competing health emergencies) imposed on the response. To mitigate the risk of re-emergence, it is critical to maintain surveillance and rapid response capacities, and to prioritize survivor care and the maintenance of cooperative relationships with survivors’ associations during and well beyond the 42 days lead up to the end of outbreak declaration.