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Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces has recently shown an increase in the number of cases reported by week, after many weeks of overall decline (Figure 1). This rise is not unexpected and, in part, likely a result of the increased security challenges, including the recent direct attacks on treatment centers, and pockets of community mistrust, which slowed some response activities in affected areas for a few days. Katwa, Butembo, Masereka and Mandima account for over 80% of all cases in the last 21 days. A total of 97 confirmed cases were reported during the last 21 days from 38 of the 130 health areas affected to date (Table 1, Figure 2). This week, EVD was confirmed in an infant who died in Bunia Health Zone, but whose parents are in good health. This is the first confirmed case from this health zone; a previous case was identified from neighbouring Rwampara Health Zone in early February. While investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection, teams in place have rapidly implemented response activities including contact tracing, vaccination and heightened surveillance. Given the geographical spread of the epidemic and the high mobility in this region, the risk of Ebola spreading to unaffected areas or being reintroduced to previously affected areas remains high.

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