ProMED: Ebola in the DRC

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Epidemics can occur anywhere, at any time.

We publish regular updates, produced by Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED), on outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases to keep you informed on the frequency and impact of our priority diseases.

ProMED is the largest publicly-available system conducting global reporting of infectious diseases outbreaks, with ProMED staff, moderators and team members scanning for, reviewing and posting information relating to global health security from official health reports and media articles.

The below post contains information from health reports, news articles, and academic papers relating to our priority diseases, compiled together by ProMED. Content below may be edited from original ProMED posts for style and length.

These posts provide an overview of disease outbreak activity over the past several weeks. For the latest information relating to outbreaks of infectious diseases, please visit the ProMED website.



North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of Congo

Outbreak Update

WHO Disease Outbreak News (15 Aug 2019)

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continued this week with similar transmission intensity to recent weeks, with an average of 81 cases per week (range, 68-91 cases per week) in the past 6 weeks. There are currently no confirmed cases of EVD outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This week, initial data from a randomized clinical trial (RCT) of EVD therapeutics were announced. The data showed that 2 of the 4 treatments trialled were more effective in treating EVD. As a result, patients in the 4 Ebola treatment centres that participated in the RCT will now be randomized to receive the 2 better performing treatments. Patients in treatment centres not participating in the RCT will continue to be able to access those treatments under a compassionate use protocol. This change will help ensure that every treatment centre patient receives the best possible treatment with the greatest chance of survival, based on the most recent evidence.

As of 13 Aug 2019, a total of 2842 EVD cases were reported, including 2748 confirmed and 94 probable cases, of which 1905 cases died (overall case fatality ratio, 67%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 57% (1608) were female, and 29% (815) were children aged less than 18 years.

See further information on the Ebola disease outbreak in the WHO Disease Outbreak News (15 Aug 2019)

The year-long Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has spread to a new province, with 2 cases - one of them fatal -- confirmed in South Kivu. See Guardian news story.

UNICEF and partners have registered 1380 orphans, meaning children who have lost one or both parents to Ebola, since the start of the outbreak just over a year ago. In this same period, 2469 children have been separated from their parents or caregivers -- either left alone while adults undergo screening and treatment, or isolated because they've been in contact with someone infected. See UNICEF press release

On 13 Aug 2019, the Burundi Ministry of Public Health and AIDS Control kicked off the vaccination campaign for front-line staff against the Ebola virus disease. The campaign started at the Gatumba entry point at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. See WHO African Region news story

Information available within this Disease Outbreak Update is produced by Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED).

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.