ProMED: Ebola in the DRC, MERS in Saudi Arabia

RDC†: Au cúur du combat contre líÈpidÈmie díEbola

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 and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of Congo

Outbreak Update

Save the Children, Tuesday 6 August 2019:

The deadly Ebola virus has taken the lives of more than 500 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Save the Children said today [6 Aug 2019], with the number of deaths accelerating over the past 6 months. In total, around 737 children have been infected with the disease since Ebola surfaced in the DRC.

Today's figures show how the spread of the disease has accelerated: in the 1st 6 months after 1 Aug 2018, just under 100 children died of Ebola. In the 6 months that followed, over 4 times as many children lost their lives.

Heather Kerr, Save the Children's Country Director in DRC, said: "This is another grim milestone in a crisis that is devastating children in its path, especially the youngest. Some 40% of children who have contracted the disease are under the age of 5, and many of them have died.

"The spread of Ebola is having a wider impact on children as well; because of the high fatality rate in this outbreak, thousands of children have lost at least one of their parents to the disease or were separated from their parents.

"The virus puts children at risk of being stigmatized, isolated or abandoned, in addition to suffering the unbearable trauma of losing a loved one. Children who are on their own face the very real danger of all kinds of abuse and exploitation, or of being recruited by armed groups.

Children aren't going to school because their parents have died and those taking care of them can't afford the school fees, or schools are closing due to insecurity.

The virus has been speeding up over the last 6 months instead of slowing down, and we're seeing a bad scenario unfolding right in front of us, as there are now four cases in Goma, a city of more than one million people.

Disease Research

Projections of epidemic transmission and estimation of vaccination impact during an ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak in Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5 Aug 2019


As of 25 Feb 2019, 875 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the beginning of October 2018, the outbreak has largely shifted into regions in which active armed conflict has occurred, and in which EVD cases and their contacts have been difficult for health workers to reach. We used available data on the current outbreak, with case-count time series from prior outbreaks, to project the short-term and long-term course of the outbreak.

Author summary

Our models project that a final size of roughly up to 300 additional cases is most likely, and estimate that transmission rates are higher than would be seen under optimal levels of contact tracing and vaccination. While a catastrophic outbreak is not projected, it is not ruled out, and prevention and vigilance are warranted.

See the full ProMED post here




Saudi Arabia

Outbreak Update

Saudi Arabia MoH, 5 Aug 2019:

In the period since the last update (MERS-CoV (58): Saudi Arabia (RI,QS,NJ) WHO, RFI 20190725.6586218) there have been a total of 2 newly confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection and 4 outcomes reported: 2 deaths and 2 recoveries.

Information on newly confirmed cases:
Date of confirmation report: 25 Jul 2019
Case No: 19-1942
MERS from Riyadh city: a 59-year-old male from Riyadh city, Riyadh region
Contact with camels: yes
Case classification: Primary
Date of outcome report: 29 Jul 2019
Outcome: Recovered
Date of confirmation report: 4 Aug 2019
Case No: 19-1943
MERS from Qssim city: a 71-year-old male from Buraidah city, Qassim region
Contact with camels: Yes
Case classification: Primary
Current status: Active

Outcome reports:
[1] Case No: 19-1938. Date of confirmation report: 16 Jul 2019. A 30-year-old male from Riyadh city, Riyadh region. Classified as a primary case with camel contact history not known. Date of outcome report: 29 Jan 2019. Outcome: died.

[2] Case No: 19-1940. Date of confirmation report: 17 Jul 2019. A 70-year-old male from Buraidah, Al Qasim region. Classified as a primary case with camel contact history not known. Date of outcome report: 5 Aug 2019. Outcome: died

[3] Case No: 19-1041. Date of confirmation report: 20 Jul 2019. A 58-year-old male from Najran city, Najran region. Classified as a primary case with camel contact history not known. Date of outcome report: 29 Jul 2019. Outcome: recovered

[4] See newly confirmed case No 19-1942 reported as [1] above.

See the full ProMED post here


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.