Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Ebola Outbreak in DRC 82: 01 March 2020
From 24 February to 1 March 2020, no new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Figure 1). In the past 21 days (10 February to 1 March), the outbreak has been confined to a relatively small geographic area. During this period, two new confirmed cases were reported from one health area in Beni Health Zone, North Kivu Province (Figure 2, Table 1). It has been more than 42 days since new cases were detected in all health zones except Beni and Mabalako, though surveillance activities are ongoing in all health zones to avoid resurgence of the outbreak…
While there is room for cautious optimism around the absence of new confirmed cases this week, the outbreak remains active and risks of additional cases emerging remain high. Response activities must be maintained in all health zones.
WHO: End in sight, but flare-ups likely in the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
6 March 2020 Statement
Remarks by Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, World Health Organization Assistant Director-General, Emergency Response
…This work is continuing. The outbreak isn’t over. WHO recommends waiting two full incubation periods – that’s 42 days – after the last person tests negative a second time before declaring the end of the outbreak.
We must stay in active response mode to get us over that finish line. We have to be prepared for other cases emerging. It’s is a very real risk.
Remember that during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa flare-ups of new cases occurred after the end of the outbreak.
There are four reasons why new cases may emerge during this 42-day period, or even after the end of the outbreak:
First, because of the complex security environment, Ebola transmission outside of groups under monitoring is possible.
Second, Ebola virus can persist in used needles, syringes or vials for several weeks.
Third, Ebola virus can persist in the body fluids of survivors for many months, and can be transmitted well after recovery, or in rare cases can result in relapse – as we’ve already seen during this outbreak.
Finally, Ebola virus is present in an animal reservoir in the region, and there is always a risk of a new spillover to humans.
This is why it’s critical to maintain surveillance and rapid response capacities…