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New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo; WHO surge team supporting the response

9th Ebola outbreak, which took place from May to July 2018.

“It’s happening at a challenging time, but WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa CDC and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “To reinforce local leadership, WHO plans to send a team to support scaling up the response. Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighbouring countries we must act quickly.”

WHO is already on the ground in Mbandaka supporting the response to this outbreak, as part of capacity built during the 2018 outbreak. The team supported the collection and testing of samples, and reference to the national laboratory for confirmation. Contact tracing is underway. Work is ongoing to send additional supplies from North Kivu and from Kinshasa to support the government-led response. A further 25 people are expected to arrive in Mbandaka tomorrow. WHO is also working to ensure that essential health services are provided to communities despite these emergency events.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 10th outbreak of Ebola, in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces, is in its final stages. On 14 May 2020, the Ministry of Health began the 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of that outbreak.

New outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country.

Note to Editors – key figures

COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • As of 31 May 2020: 3195 cases have been reported, including 72 deaths.

Measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Since 2019: 369 520 measles cases and 6779 deaths have been reported.

Recent Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

11th outbreak: Mbandaka, Équateur province.

  • Ongoing. Declared on 1 June 2020.
  • 6 cases (3 confirmed, 3 probable). Of those, 4 people died and 2 are alive

10th outbreak: North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces

  • Ongoing. Declared on 1 August 2018.
  • 3463 cases (3317 confirmed and 146 probable). Of these, 2280 people died and 1171 survived.

9th outbreak: Mbandaka, Équateur province.

  • Declared on 8 May 2018 and ended on 24 July 2018.
  • 54 cases (38 confirmed and 16 probable). Of those, 33 died and 21 survived.

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