There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect people from the Ebola virus

World Health Organization

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

25th
August 2019

The Ebola
virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo continued this week with similar transmission
intensity .

According to
an update of World Health Organization,

“While the
last few weeks of the outbreak have been characterized by the geographic
expansion of cases to new health zones, we continue to see high case numbers,
sustained local transmission, and inter-health zone movement of cases both into
and out of the hotspot areas of Beni, Mandima, and Butembo. In the past 21 days
from 31 July through 20 August 2019, 69 health areas within 19 health zones
reported new cases (Table 1, Figure 2). During this period, a total of 216
confirmed cases were reported, with the majority coming from the health zones
of Beni (31%, n=66), Mandima (18%, n=38), and Butembo (8%, n=18). High risks of
transmission are also associated with an emerging cluster in the city of
Mambasa, which has reported 14 cases in the past 21 days. The response
continues to address these hotspots through early case detection and thorough
investigation, strong contact identification and follow up, and engagement with
the local communities.”

WHO updates,

“Two new
health zones reported cases in the past week: Mwenga Health Zone in South Kivu
and Pinga Health Zone in North Kivu. In Mwenga, four confirmed cases were
reported after two individuals (mother and child) had contact with a confirmed
case in Beni before travelling south. The father of the child was subsequently
confirmed positive as was a co-patient in a community health facility where the
first case initially sought care.”

In Pinga,
one confirmed case has been reported with no apparent epidemiological links to
other cases and no recent travel or visitors from outbreak affected areas.

Pinga
presents an added challenge to response teams in terms of remoteness, limited
telecommunications, security risks, and resistance within the affected family
and community.

As of 20
August, a total of 2927 EVD cases were reported, including 2822 confirmed and
105 probable cases, of which 1961 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 67%).

Of the total
confirmed and probable cases, 58% (1697) were female, and 28% (830) were
children aged less than 18 years. To date, 154 health workers have been
infected.

Eleven
additional probable cases were validated last week, among these were cases who
died in the community in Katwa, Kyondo, Vuhovi, and Mabalako health zones
during March through June 2019 with epidemiological links to the outbreak;
these cases could not be sampled for laboratory testing to confirm/exclude EVD.

On 19 August
2019, a “ville morte” protest took place in Beni, Butembo, and Oicha in
response to recent attacks by armed groups on civilians. This resulted in a
temporary suspension of Ebola response activities.

Operations
resumed on 20 August 2019 with increased caution, and further demonstrations
are anticipated.

 The suspension of Ebola response activities
often results in an increase of case numbers and spread of cases to new areas
in the subsequent weeks.

WHO
advice

WHO advised
against any restriction of travel to, and trade with, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo based on the currently available information. There is
currently no licensed vaccine to protect people from the Ebola virus
.
Therefore, any requirements for certificates of Ebola vaccination are not a
reasonable basis for restricting movement across borders or the issuance of
visas for travellers to/from the affected countries.

WHO
continues to closely monitor and, if necessary, verify travel and trade
measures in relation to this event.

Currently,
no country has implemented travel measures that significantly interfere with
international traffic to and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Travellers should seek medical advice before travel and should practice good hygiene. Further information is available in the WHO recommendations for international traffic related to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.




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