Ebola Outbreak in DRC 79: 11 February 2020

Emergencies

 

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 79: 11 February 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update
From 3 to 9 February 2020, three new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported in Beni Health Zone, North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Figure 1). All of the cases were registered as contacts and two were under surveillance at the time of detection.

In the past 21 days (20 January to 9 February 2020), 13 new confirmed cases were reported from four of the 30 health areas in two active health zones in North Kivu Province (Figure 2, Table 1): Beni (92%; n=12) and Mabalako (8%; n=1) Health Zones. Although recent trends of this outbreak, including the small number of weekly cases and limited geographic area affected by EVD are encouraging, continued vigilance is crucial, particularly for contact identification and follow up, in order to interrupt possible nosocomial transmission linked to traditional practitioner facilities. In the last 21 days, there were three cases of the 13 new confirmed cases who passed away in the community, outside of Ebola treatment centres.

The security situation in several EVD-affected health areas remain unstable and unpredictable. On 8 February, a health centre was attacked in Butembo, destroying equipment and infrastructure. On 8 February 2020, an attack on civilians in Mabalako Health Zone led to a suspension of response activities for 48 hours. This attack resulted in displacement of people fearing armed attacks.

As of 9 February 2020, a total of 3431 EVD cases, including 3308 confirmed and 123 probable cases have been reported, of which 2253 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56% (1920) were female, 28% (968) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (172) were healthcare workers…

 

…Conclusion
Beni Health Zone remains the hotspot of this outbreak. Ongoing insecurity in other areas is of concern. Continued access and heightened vigilance is required to maintain case investigation and contact tracing activities in all health zones.

 

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12 February 2020 Statement
Statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 12 February 2020
…Conclusions and Advice
It was the unanimous view of the Committee that this event still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) under the IHR (2005).

The Committee acknowledged the revised risk assessment, which puts the risk now as high at national and regional levels, and low at the global level.

The Committee was concerned that withdrawing the PHEIC now might have adverse consequences for the response efforts through diminishing focus. Additionally, although the primary concern of the Committee is EVD, there are serious ongoing outbreaks of other diseases, including measles and cholera, in DRC. The country continues to need support to combat infectious diseases as well as to strengthen its health system. Further, there remains an urgent need to maintain international solidarity for the response.

The Committee noted the ongoing discussions about the interpretation in the text of the IHR (2005) of the terms international and regional spread, and about creating an intermediate level of response between the binary possibilities of PHEIC or no PHEIC, in a way that does not require reopening negotiations on the Regulations. The Committee supports these discussions, as an intermediate level would be as useful for gradually ending a PHEIC and for signaling the potential for one to be declared…

…Based on this advice, the reports made by the affected State Party, and the currently available information, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on 12 February 2020 maintained the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

 

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ERVEBO® (Ebola Zaire Vaccine, Live) Now Registered in Four African Countries, Within 90 Days of Reference Country Approval and WHO Prequalification
Democratic Republic of the Congo One of the First African Countries to Register ERVEBO
February 14, 2020 11:20 AM Eastern Standard Time
KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today confirmed that four African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), have approved ERVEBO (pronounced er-VEE-boh). ERVEBO was granted a conditional marketing authorization by the European Commission on November 11, 2019 and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 20, 2019. In the United States, ERVEBO is indicated for the prevention of disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus in individuals 18 years of age and older. The duration of protection conferred by ERVEBO is unknown. ERVEBO does not protect against other species of Ebolavirus or Marburgvirus. Effectiveness of the vaccine when administered concurrently with antiviral medication, immune globulin (IG), and/or blood or plasma transfusions is unknown…

 

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