WHO continues to monitor Ebola in DRC

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The latest WHO External Situation Report provides up-to-date details on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with a total of 785 cases reported from 18 health zones in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri as of 3 February 2019. As of 4 February, there have been 484 reported deaths, with a case fatality ratio among confirmed cases of 59 per cent.

The report states that the Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to monitor and investigate all alerts in affected areas, in other provinces in the DRC, and in neighbouring countries. All alerts outside the outbreak affected areas have been investigated or laboratory tested to rule out Ebola.

Outbreak control interventions are being implemented by the MoH and other national authorities in the DRC, as well as WHO and partners. These include intensified active case finding in health facilities and communities, contact tracing and monitoring alerts from outbreak-affected areas.

A National IPC Task Force has been formed to provide strategic technical guidance, and co-ordinate and oversee the various partners and health zone infection prevention and control (IPC) commissions, a revised IPC strategy with an operational work plan is being developed for the period February through March 2019, and extensive IPC activities are ongoing throughout the DRC, including: decontamination of households and health facilities with confirmed cases; briefings and training of healthcare providers, including those working in private healthcare facilities and tradi-modern facilities; and distribution of IPC kits, which include consumables items such as personal protective equipment.

At the present time, WHO has advised against any restriction of travel to the DRC. It said that it is closely monitoring the situation and will, if necessary, verify travel measures.