Epidemiological update: Ebola virus disease outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Since the beginning of the outbreak and as of 23 January 2019, according to the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there have been 715 Ebola virus disease cases (666 confirmed, 49 probable), including 443 deaths (394 in confirmed and 49 in probable cases).
Eighteen health zones in two provinces have reported confirmed or probable Ebola virus disease cases: Beni, Biena, Butembo, Kalunguta, Katwa, Kayna, Kyondo, Mabalako, Mangurujipa, Masereka, Musienene, Mutwanga, Oicha and Vuhovi health zones in North Kivu Province and Komanda, Mandima, Nyankunde and Tchomia health zones in Ituri Province.
Response measures remain challenging in affected areas because of the prolonged humanitarian crisis, unstable security situation, resistance among the population and the recent general election. The fact that the outbreak is ongoing in areas with cross-border population flow with Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda remains of particular concern. A substantial proportion of cases remain among individuals not previously identified as contacts, stressing the need to maintain enhanced surveillance and identify chains of transmission.
As of 17 January 2019, the WHO assessment is that the risk of spread is low at the global level, but remains very high at national and regional levels. 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 at the local level.