No new cases have been reported in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 17 February 2020 (Figure 1). While this is a positive development, there remains a sustained risk of re-emergence of EVD given the current challenges related to limited resources amidst other local and global emergencies, continued insecurity and population displacement in previous hotspots, and limited access to some affected communities. Therefore, it is critical to maintain surveillance and response operations in the period leading up to the declaration of the end of the outbreak, as well as after the declaration – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.
Ongoing outbreak response efforts continue, which include investigating and validating new alert cases, supporting appropriate care and rapid diagnosis of suspected cases (which continue to be detected), supporting survivors through a multi-disciplinary programme, and strategically transitioning activities. From 1 to 7 April, an average of 2208 alerts were reported and investigated daily, which was more than a 50% decrease in the number of alerts reported in affected health zones in the previous two weeks. Of these alerts, 175 were validated as suspected cases, requiring specialized care and laboratory testing to rule-out EVD. From 30 March to 5 April, 1347 samples were tested including: 645 blood samples from alive, suspected cases; 318 swabs from community deaths; and 384 samples from re-tested patients. Overall, laboratory activity decreased by 43% compared to the prior week.
As of 7 April 2020, a total of 3453 EVD cases were reported from 29 health zones (Table 1), including 3310 confirmed and 143 probable cases, of which 2273 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 57% (n=1935) were female, 29% (n=979) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (n=171) were health care workers.
An urgent injection of US $20 million is required to ensure that response teams have the capacity to maintain the appropriate level of operations through to the beginning of May 2020. For more information, please see this statement.
Figure 1: Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases by week of illness onset by health zone. Data as of 7 April 2020*
*Excludes n=149 cases for whom onset dates not reported. Data in recent weeks are subject to delays in case confirmation and reporting, as well as ongoing data cleaning. ‘Other health zones’ indicate health zones other than Kalunguta, Mandima, Mabalako, Beni, Katwa and Butembo Health Zones which have been affected by EVD.
Table 1: Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases, and number of health areas affected, by health zone, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, data as of 7 April 2020**
**Total cases and areas affected during the last 21 days are based on the initial date of case alert and may differ from date of confirmation and daily reporting by the Ministry of Health.
Public health response
For further information about public health response actions by the Ministry of Health, WHO, and partners, please refer to the latest situation reports published by the WHO Regional Office for Africa:
WHO risk assessment
WHO continuously monitors changes to the epidemiological situation and context of the outbreak to ensure that support to the response is adapted to the evolving circumstances. The last assessment concluded that the national and regional risk levels remain high, while global risk levels remain low.
WHO advises against any restriction of travel to, and trade with, the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the currently available information. Any requirements for certificates of Ebola vaccination are not a reasonable basis for restricting movement across borders or the issuance of visas for travellers to/from the affected countries. WHO continues to closely monitor and, if necessary, verify travel and trade measures in relation to this event. Currently, no country has implemented travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic to and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Travellers should seek medical advice before travel and should practise good hygiene. Further information is available in the WHO recommendations for international traffic related to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
For more information, please see: