Epidemiological update: Ebola virus disease outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Epidemiological update

Since May 2018 and as of 24 October 2018, there have been 251 Ebola virus disease cases (216 confirmed, 35 probable), including 162 deaths (127 of which were confirmed cases).

Ten health zones in two provinces have reported confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases: Beni, Butembo, Kalungata, Mabalako, Masereka, Musienene and Oicha health zones in North Kivu Province and Komanda, Mangina and Tchomia health zones in Ituri Province.

According to the latest Ministry of Health update, as of 24 October 2018, 22 326 people have been vaccinated in Beni (10 945), Mabalako (4 391), Katwa (1 847), Mandima (1 663), Butembo (1 195), Masereka (690), Bunia (434), Tchomia (355), Komanda (240), Kalunguta (185), Musienene (160), Oicha (121), and Mutwanga (100).

After the first meeting of the 2018 International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo held on 17 October 2018 by WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, the Emergency Committee concluded that the epidemic is not a public health emergency of international concern at this stage. 

The Emergency Committee also noted that the response of the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO and partners has been rapid and comprehensive.

ECDC Assessment: While no confirmed cases in neighbouring countries have been documented as of 26 October 2018, the fact that the outbreak is ongoing in areas with an important cross-border population flow with Rwanda and Uganda remains of particular concern. In addition, the implementation of response measures in the field remains challenging because the outbreak occurs in areas affected by prolonged humanitarian crises and an unstable security situation arising from a complex armed conflict.

The probability of exposure to the disease for EU/EEA citizens who live or travel in Ebola virus disease-affected areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is low provided they adhere to recommended precautionary measures. The overall risk of introduction and further spread of Ebola virus within the EU/EEA is very low. However, the risk can only be eliminated by stopping transmission on a local level.

ECDC published an updated rapid risk assessment on 5 October 2018. 

Distribution of Ebola cases, DRC, as of 24 October 2018
Distribution of Ebola cases in the past 21 days, DRC, as of 24 October 2018