Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Ebola Outbreak in DRC 88: 14 April 2020
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
Two new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported in Beni Health Zone on 10 and 12 April (Figure 1). Both cases passed away in the community after visiting several healthcare facilities. Prior to this, the last person who was confirmed to have EVD in the Democratic Republic of the Congo tested negative twice and was discharged from a treatment centre on 3 March 2020.
Specimens from the two cases were sent to the Institut de Recherche Biomedicale (INRB) in Katwa and Kinshasa for genetic sequencing in order to support surveillance teams in the investigation of the source of infection and to determine whether these two cases were linked to a known chain of transmission. A total of 213 contacts of these cases have been registered, 116 of whom were followed on 12 April 2020, and 90 were vaccinated. On 9 April, two new probable cases were validated.
Active outbreak response activities continue, including retrospective and prospective surveillance, pathogen detection, and clinical management activities in previously affected areas, in addition to alert validation, supporting appropriate care and rapid diagnosis of suspected cases, building partnerships with community members to strengthen investigation of EVD deaths in communities, and strategically transitioning activities.
The newly confirmed cases in Beni Health Zone 40 days into the 42-day count down period to the end of the outbreak are unfortunate but not unexpected. The WHO criteria for end of the outbreak includes a 42-day period when we expect to identify cases within undetected chains of transmission. Thorough investigation of yet-to-be-identified cases and probable cases should be conducted in order to tackle this new chain of transmission. Outbreak response teams continue to face insecurity in affected areas, which makes the ongoing surveillance and response activities particularly challenging. This development reinforces the importance of continued vigilance and the maintenance of strengthened surveillance activities, rapid detection and response capacities in affected areas. It is also important that response activities for other local and global emergencies, including COVID-19 synergize and enhance, not detract from, EVD surveillance and response efforts.
Congo Records Five New Ebola Cases, Shelves Declaration of End to Epidemic
Five new Ebola infections have been recorded in eastern Congo since last week in a new flare-up just as the government was about to declare an end to the deadly epidemic, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
New York Times, Africa, Apr 17, 2020