Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease – External Situation Report 83

1. Situation update

No new cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported since 17 February 2020, and on 3 March 2020, the only person confirmed to have EVD in the last 21 days (Figure 1) was discharged from an Ebola Treatment Centre after recovering and testing negative twice for the virus. This is an important milestone in the outbreak. However, there is still a high risk of re-emergence of EVD, and a critical need to maintain response operations to rapidly detect and respond to any new cases, and to prioritize continued survivor support, monitoring and cooperative relationships with the survivors’ associations – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.

Ongoing surveillance, pathogen detection, and clinical management activities include alert validation, contact follow-up, supporting rapid diagnostics of suspected cases, and building partnerships with community members to strengthen investigation of potential EVD patients who die in communities. Every day, more than 4700 alerts continue to be reported and investigated, of which over 350 alerts (including ~75 community deaths) are validated as suspected EVD cases, requiring laboratory testing and specialized care within the established Ebola treatment and transit centres. On average, suspect cases stay in these facilities for three days before EVD can be definitively ruled out (i.e. after two negative polymerase chain reaction tests 48 hours apart), while care is provided for their illness under isolation precautions. Timely testing of suspected cases continues to be provided across 11 operational laboratories deployed in cities that have been affected by the outbreak. From 2 to 8 March, more than 2800 samples were tested.

As of 8 March 2020, a total of 3444 EVD cases were reported from 29 health zones (Table 1, Figure 2), including 3310 confirmed and 134 probable cases have been reported, of which 2264 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56% (1931) were female, 28% (975) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (171) were healthcare workers.

Source: World Health Organization