MMWR News Synopsis January 10, 2020
Population Movement Patterns Among the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda During an Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease: Results from Community Engagement in Two Districts — Uganda, March 2019
Trade and business, need for health care, visits to family, refugee support, and insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) drive population movement patterns between Rwanda, Uganda, and the provinces in eastern DRC that are experiencing an Ebola outbreak. One of the ground crossing closures in Rwanda initiated in February 2019 caused significant shifts in some cross-border movement patterns leading to travel between Goma and Uganda that avoided Rwanda and passed through more insecure areas of DRC. The 10th Ebola virus disease (EVD) DRC was declared in an area with a high volume of cross-border movement. Officials in southwest Uganda identified 31 locations in their communities where people from eastern DRC visit and traced cross-border movement pathways to the EVD outbreak areas.
Case Definitions Used During the First 6 Months of the 10th Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — Four Neighboring Countries, August 2018–February 2019
If a disease outbreak is occurring near international borders, harmonizing case definitions between neighboring countries can be vital to effective cross-border communication and collaboration. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing its 10th Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in an area with a high volume of cross-border population movement. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda priority countries for Ebola preparedness because of the high risk of cross-border spread. The CDC worked with ministries of health in DRC, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda to collect each ministry-of-health-approved EVD case definition during the first six months of the outbreak to evaluate the similarities and differences across countries. Case definitions are used to identify people who might have a particular disease based on signs and symptoms of illness, exposure history, and laboratory test results. Harmonizing case definitions across neighboring countries can improve collaboration and help reduce the risk of cross-border disease spread.