Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease – External Situation Report 81

1. Situation update

This week, the incidence of new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases remained low. From 17 to 23 February 2020, one new confirmed case was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The case was reported in Beni Health Zone, North Kivu Province on 17 February 2020. The person is a contact of a confirmed case, was under surveillance at the time of illness onset, and is now receiving care at an Ebola Treatment Centre.

In the past 21 days (3 to 23 February 2020), the outbreak has been confined to a relatively small geographic area. During this period, five new confirmed cases were reported from two health areas in North Kivu Province; both areas are within Beni Health Zone. It has been more than 21 days since new cases were confirmed from Mabalako Health Zone, and over 42 days since new cases were detected in Musienene Health Zone.

While we are cautiously optimistic about the overall trend and reduced geographic spread of the outbreak, the risk of resurgence within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries remains high, and the continued containment of the outbreak is contingent on maintaining access and security in affected communities. Given recent delays in isolating some cases, we may see additional cases in the coming weeks. Moreover, Ebola virus may persist in some survivors’ body fluids, and in a limited number of instances, transmissions from exposure to body fluids of survivors have been documented during this outbreak. To mitigate such risks, it is critical to maintain response capacities to rapidly detect and respond to reintroduction events, and to prioritize survivor monitoring and the maintenance of cooperative relationships with the survivors’ associations.

WHO is requesting funding in order to maintain current levels of operations and prevent re-emergence of the outbreak. WHO’s financial need for the Ebola Response from January to June 2020 is US $83 million under the Strategic Response Plan (SRP 4.1). Thanks to the generosity of many donors during 2019, WHO has some carry-over funding, which has been applied to maintain operations through February 2020. USD $40 million is currently needed to ensure continuity of response and preparedness activities to bring the case incidence to zero, and continue building strong, resilient health systems.

As of 23 February 2020, a total of 3444 EVD cases, including 3310 confirmed and 134 probable cases have been reported, of which 2264 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66%). On 21 February, 11 individuals were newly validated as probable cases. The dates of illness onset for these probable cases ranged from November 2018 to August 2019, and were reported from eight health zones (two health zones in Ituri Province and six health zones in North Kivu Province). Since August 2018, a total of 134 probable cases have been validated. Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56% (1926) were female, 28% (974) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (172) were healthcare workers.

Source: World Health Organization