Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The WHO/DRC Ebola Update & Dashboard

From WHO Ebola DON Nov 1st


We are now 14 weeks into the second Ebola outbreak in the DRC this year, and while case counts remain low when compared to the 2014 West African epidemic, last night it was reported by the Washington Post that the CDC director warns that Congo’s Ebola outbreak may not be containable.

You'll find the most recent update from the CDC, along with a snapshot and link to the WHO/DRC Ebola Dashboard, which provides the most current information on the outbreak.

Ebola situation reports: Democratic Republic of the Congo

On 1 August 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease in North Kivu Province. The Ministry of Health, WHO and partners are responding to this event, and working to establish the full extent of this outbreak. Numbers may fluctuate on a daily basis due to many factors, including continuing monitoring, investigation and reclassification of cases. Alert and suspected cases (not reported here), are systematically investigated to confirm or exclude Ebola virus disease before inclusion in the case counts or discarded as non-cases.
Latest numbers as of 4 November 2018

Total cases: 300
- Confirmed cases: 265
- Probable cases: 35

Deaths: 186
- Confirmed: 151
- Probable: 35


While three weeks ago the WHO IHR Committee Determined DRC Ebola Outbreak Is Not Currently A PHEIC (Public Health Emergency Of International Concern) - should containment be lost - it would raise the stakes considerably for both the region, and the broader international community.

For now, the CDC (and other countries) have issued travelers advisories for the DRC, and the most recent risk (Nov 1st) from the WHO reads:

WHO risk assessment

This outbreak of EVD is affecting north-eastern provinces of the country, which border Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. Potential risk factors for transmission of EVD at the national and regional levels include: transportation links between the affected areas, the rest of the country, and neighbouring countries; the internal displacement of populations; and the displacement of Congolese refugees to neighbouring countries. 

The country is concurrently experiencing other epidemics (e.g. cholera, vaccine-derived poliomyelitis, malaria), and a long-term humanitarian crisis. Additionally, the security situation in North Kivu and Ituri at times limits the implementation of response activities. WHO’s risk assessment for the outbreak is currently very high at the national and regional levels; the global risk level remains low. WHO continues to advise against any restriction of travel to, and trade with, the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on currently available information. 

As the risk of national and regional spread is very high, it is important for neighbouring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities. The IHR Emergency Committee has advised that failing to intensify these preparedness and surveillance activities would lead to worsening conditions and further spread. WHO will continue to work with neighbouring countries and partners to ensure that health authorities are alerted and are operationally prepared to respond.

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