Ebola News June

Congo DRC // 30 June, 2020

Two outbreaks had been occurring simultaneously - one in Equateur province which began in early June, and another in several provinces in the east of the country that started in 2018 and lasted nearly two years.

That eastern outbreak was the nation's tenth, and it was declared over in late June. At that time, the World Health Organization (WHO) also declared the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for Ebola in DRC.

The outbreak in Equateur province is the nation's eleventh, and is ongoing.

Health zones that have reported cases:

Equateur: Bikoro, Bolomba, Iboko, Mbandaka, Wangata

North Kivu
>42 days: Alimbongo, Beni, Biena, Butembo, Goma health zone (Goma city), Kalunguta, Katwa, Kayna, Kyondo, Lubero, Mabalako, Manguredjipa, Masereka, Musienene, Mutwanga, Nyiragongo (Goma city), Oicha, Pinga and Vuhovi.

South Kivu
> 42 days: Mwenga.

Ituri
> 42 days: Ariwara, Bunia, Komanda, Lowla, Mambasa, Mandima, Nyakunde, Rwampara and Tchomia.

Case counts as per Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation Ebola Dashboard DRC as at 25 June:

  • Confirmed cases: 3,317
  • Probable cases: 153
  • Total deaths: 2,268

1 July: The case count in Equateur rose again, with 30 confirmed and three probable cases.  Some of them are still among the community, rather than in treatment centres, which makes it more likely that they will spread the disease.  

Also, some of the latest confirmed and suspected cases are still in the community, a factor known to increase the risk of community transmission.

30 June:  Two more cases confirmed in Mbandaka, Equateur province. There are now 27 confirmed and three probable cases. 

29 June: Further cases have been confirmed in Equateur province. This takes the total to 28 cases, including 25 confirmed and three probable cases. Two people have recovered and 13 people have died.

26 June: The WHO has declared the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for the Ebola outbreak in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu.

25 June: The WHO declared the 10th outbreak over. The nation started its 42-day countdown to declaring the end of the outbreak on 14 May. No new cases for the tenth outbreak were reported since that time. Ongoing security and access issues as well as limited resources are complicating efforts to manage the eleventh outbreak which remains ongoing. More cases are possible.

22 June: More cases have been reported in Equateur taking the total to 23 cases in that province.

19 June: One additional case reported in the Equateur province. The infected 35-year-old man was diagnosed in Bikoro. He was not a known contact of any other Ebola patients, and he died in the community before health officials knew he had the virus. 

18 June: The latest World Health Organization (WHO) disease outbreak news reports no new Ebola cases in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri Provinces since 27 April. However, the WHO warns there remains a risk of re-emergence of the virus and surveillance and response operations remain critical to success. During this outbreak, 3,463 confirmed and probable Ebola cases have been reported. Of these 2,280 people have died and 1,171 people have recovered.

For current information regarding the EVD outbreak in Equateur Province see the news item below (dated 15 June) and the WHO AFRO weekly bulletin.

The WHO risk assessment remains moderate for national and regional spread and low globally.

15 June: There are now 17 confirmed or probable cases in Equateur, in five health zones, per the WHO AFRO weekly bulletin. Bolomba and Iboko reported their first cases. Iboko is 240 km from Mbandaka, where this outbreak originated. The patient in Iboko was not a listed contact and has not been vaccinated. Preliminary investigations show that he lives in Air Congo, in Mbandaka. Nearly a thousand contacts under follow-up.

11 June: The latest Ebola Situation Report #96 details that eight of the 12 confirmed and probable cases in Equateur province have died. Four of these deaths were outside Ebola Treatment facilities and further cases may occur. Two of the cases are in healthcare workers. Contact tracing continues across three health zones: Bikoro, Mbandaka and Wangata.

No new cases have been identified in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu since April.

During the tenth and eleventh Ebola outbreaks in DRC, since August 2018 a total of 3,464 cases includes 3,317 confirmed and 146 probable cases. Of these 2,280 people have died.

9 June: According to the WHO and Ministry of Health Ebola dashboard, there have been 12 cases reported in Equateur province, up from eight reported as of last week. Of these 12 cases; nine are confirmed and three are probable, with five deaths among them. Early virus sequencing suggests that this outbreak is caused by a new emergence of the virus (rather than linked to the outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces).

4 June: The latest World Health Organization (WHO) disease outbreak news reports no new Ebola cases since 27 April for the North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri outbreak. No source has been identified for the cluster of infection reported in April 2020. During this outbreak, 3,463 confirmed and probable Ebola cases have been reported. Of these 2,280 people have died and 1,171 people have recovered.

“On 1 June 2020, the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO of a new outbreak of EVD in Mbandaka city, Équateur Province which involved an initial cluster of four deaths that occurred between 18 and 30 May 2020.”

The WHO risk assessment remains moderate for national and regional spread and low globally.

3 June: Media reports that a person who escaped from the Beni Ebola treatment centre in mid-April has been located in the community and has recovered. The patient experienced symptom onset over 7 weeks ago and was confirmed infected 45 days ago. No other cases have been reported in connection to this case.

2 June: Confirmed cases increased to a total of nine, with five deaths. According to UNICEF, the four in treatment are contacts of the deceased.

1 June: A new Ebola outbreak has been declared in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), even as the ongoing outbreak in the east of the country continues. Per the World Health Organization (WHO), six cases (three of which are laboratory confirmed) have been reported in the Wangata health zone of Mbandaka, a city in Equateur province. Four of the six people died. More cases are expected to be reported as surveillance efforts increase. Mbandaka is a densely-populated city home to more than a million people. Ebola is harder to contain in urban areas. When Ebola cases were last reported there, in 2018, the World Health Organization called it "a game changer" though that outbreak was contained with fewer than 60 cases. Mbandaka is also port city, raising concerns about the disease spreading down the Congo River - possibly to the nation's capital, Kinshasa. In response, WHO is dispatching a team to provide assistance and scale up the response. Contact tracing has begun. This latest outbreak occurs as North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces are on 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of the 10th outbreak.

This new outbreak, the nation's eleventh, is about 1,000 km away from the DRC's tenth Ebola outbreak that began nearly two years ago. That outbreak remains ongoing in North Kivu province.

See the Ebola updates for May here.


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