The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to evolve.
The Ministry of Health, WHO and partners have made progress in response to the outbreak and recent trends suggest that control measures are working.
However, these trends must still be interpreted with caution. Since our last report on 21 September 2018 (Weekly Bulletin 38), 15 new EVD cases and four new deaths have been reported.
On 28 September 2018, two new confirmed cases were reported in Beni (1) and Butembo (1). Twenty-three new suspected cases were identified following the investigation of 48 alerts. These new suspected cases were reported from five health zones: Tchomia (7), Beni (6), Mabalako (6), Butembo (2) and Masereka (1) and Mandima (1)
As of 28 September 2018, there was a cumulative total of 157 confirmed and probable EVD cases, including 102 deaths (case fatality ratio 65%).
Among the 157 cases, 126 are confirmed and 31 are probable.
The confirmed cases have been reported from eight health zones: Mabalako (69), Beni (35), Oicha (2), Masereka (1), Butembo (7), Kalunguta (1), Mandima (9) and Tchomia (2). This is the first time that
confirmed cases have been reported from Tchomia Health Zone, in Ituri, which borders Uganda. Both confirmed cases reported from Tchomia were linked to the ongoing Beni transmission chain.
Of the 102 deaths, 71 occurred in confirmed cases. Cumulatively, 19 health workers have been affected, of whom 18 are confirmed cases and three have died.
Since the onset of the outbreak, 45 patients have recovered from the disease and been discharged and re-integrated into their communities.
Of the 140 confirmed and probable cases with known age and sex, 56% (78/140) are female. Among females, the most affected age group is 25-34 years, while among men, the most affected age group is 35-44 years.
The epicentres of the outbreak remain in Mabalako and Beni health zones in North Kivu Province, reporting 57% (n=90) and 24% (n=39) of all confirmed and probable cases, respectively. Beni is reporting an increasing number of all new cases, indicating the persistence of active transmission of Ebola virus in this area. The Beni Health Zone has reported 60% of all cases reported since early September 2018.
Of the total deaths reported to date, 42% (n=65) were from Mabalako, while 17% (n=26) were from Beni. Additionally, five other health zones in North Kivu Province and three in Ituri Province have reported confirmed and probable cases.
Field activities were suspended in Beni on 23 September 2018 following clashes between rebels and the Congolese armed forces, which took place on 22 September 2018. Consequently, the proportion of contacts followed-up in Beni fell to 35% on that day. Activities have resumed on on 26 September 2018, but movement remains restricted in the city.
As of 28 September 2018, a total of 1 410 contacts remain under surveillance and 1 1281 (91%) have been followed.
On 25 September 2018, three refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported to be contacts of an EVD-confirmed case that died on 20 September 2018 in Tchomia health zone, Ituri Province (DRC) arrived at the Sebagoro point of entry in Hoima (Uganda) and are currently being monitored.
Alerts have been reported and investigated in several provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as its neighbouring countries, namely Burundi, Central African Republic, Rwanda, and Uganda, and to date, EVD has been ruled out in all these alerts.