Congo-Kinshasa: Ebola Outbreak Continuing With Moderate Intensity - WHO

Health workers are seen inside the red zone at a newly build MSF supported ebola treatment centre(ETC) in Bunia.

The  Ebola  virus  disease  (EVD)  outbreak  in  North  Kivu  and  Ituri  provinces,  Democratic  Republic  of  the  Congo  is continuing with moderate intensity. Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern. Simultaneously, relatively  small clusters  of  cases have  been  observed in  other  areas  of  North Kivu  and Ituri provinces, which stem from chains of transmission in Katwa and Butembo, but these clusters have largely been contained to limited local transmissions. Over  the  last  21  days,  no  new  cases have  been detected in 11 of the 20  health zones  affected  to  date,  and within the  recently affected  health  zones,  transmission has  been limited  to  34  out  of  154  health areas. The  response  has had traction in these places, despite the challenges of community mistrust engendered by the years of conflict they have endured. The risk of further chains of transmission and spread, however, remain high, as demonstrated by the recent  spread  to Lubero Health Zone  and  the  reintroduction  to  Biena  Health  Zone  following  a  prolonged  period without  new  cases. These  events  highlight  the  importance  of  the  response  teams  remaining  active  and  vigilant across  all  areas,  including  those  with  lower  case  incidence,  to  rapidly  detect  new  cases  and  prevent  onward transmission.As of 10 March 2019, a total of 923 EVD cases, including 858 confirmed and 65 probable cases, were reported from 20 health zones in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Overall, cases have been reported from 125 of  319 health areas across 20 health zones. A totalof 582 deaths were reported (overall case fatality ratio 63%), including 517  deaths  among  confirmed  cases of  confirmed and probable  cases  with  reported age and sex,  57%  (523/922) were  female,  and  30%  (279/923)  were  children  aged  less  than  18  years. The  cumulative  total  of  confirmed  and probable cases among health workers is 74, including 26 deaths.Nine  of  the  20  health  zones  (45%)  that  have  reported  at  least  one  case  of  EVD  to  date  have  active  virus transmission, reporting at least one confirmed case in the last 21 days (18 February to 10 March 2019).  Conversely,  there  are 11 health zones (55%)  where no cases of EVD have been reported  in  the  last  21 days. In total thirty-four (22%) health areas in the 9 zones reported one or more cases.A  total  of  80  confirmed  cases were  reported  from  Katwa (45),  Butembo  (18),  Mandima (7),  Kalunguta (3),  Kyondo (2), Masereka (2), Lubero (1), Beni (1) and Biena (1). Most cases were reported in Katwa and Butembo, accounting for  79%  (63/80)  of  cases reported  in  the  last  three  weeks.  A  new  health zone, Lubero, has reported a confirmed case for the first time, with links to a confirmed case in Butembo. The Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to monitor and investigate all alerts in affected areas, in other provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in neighbouring countries. To date, all reported alerts outside the outbreak affected areas have been investigated or laboratory tested to rule out EVD.

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