Epidemiological update: Ebola virus disease outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo
The outbreak reached 1000 cases and is now spreading across 21 health zones. March was the worst month in terms of number of cases since the beginning of the outbreak.
As of 1 April 2019, there have been 1 092 Ebola virus disease cases (1026 confirmed, 66 probable), including 683 deaths (617 confirmed, 66 probable), according to the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. March has registered the highest number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak (200), followed by December (160) and January (155).
As of 31 March 2019, 81 healthcare workers have been infected, of which 28 died.
Twenty-one health zones in two provinces have been reported confirmed or probable EVD cases, including Beni, Biena, Butembo, Lubero, Mabalako, Manguredjipa, Masereka, Mutwanga, Musienene, Oicha, Kalunguta, Katwa, Kayna, Kyondo and Vuhovi health zones in North Kivu Province and Bunia, Nyankunde, Komanda, Mandima, Rwampara and Tchomia Health Zones in Ituri Province.
Implementing response measures remains challenging in the affected areas because of the prolonged humanitarian crisis, the unstable security situation and the resistance among the population. 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 is detected among individuals not previously identified as contacts, stressing the need to maintain enhanced surveillance and identify the chains of transmission.
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. As of 28 March 2019, the WHO assessment states that the risk of spread is low at global level, but remains very high at national and regional levels.