(CDC/John Saindon)

Ebola Transmission Intensifies in DRC; Safety Incidents Hamper Response

The intensity of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo increased slightly from last week, with 57 new confirmed cases reported in North Kivu and Ituri provinces from 11-17 September 2019 versus 40 in the previous week. In the past week, localised, minor security incidents have impacted the response, including safe and dignified burials (SDB) and vaccination activities in Mambasa and Komanda Health Zones.

In addition, there was a major security incident in Lwemba, within Mandima Health Zone, from 14-17 September. The event was a community response to the death of a local healthcare worker from EVD. Due to the violence that occurred during the incident, all activities have been suspended in the area until further notice. This has a serious impact on the response activities on the ground, and it could lead to gaps or delays in the reporting of new EVD cases in this hotspot area. Overall, these incidents underscore the need for continued and proactive engagement and sensitizing of local communities throughout areas with EVD transmission and high-risk areas that may not currently be affected.

During the past 21 days (from 28 August through 17 September 2019), a total of 145 confirmed cases were reported from 14 health zones (Table 1, Figure 2), with the majority coming from the health zones of Kalunguta (21%, n=30), Mambasa (21%, n=30), and Mandima (19%, n=27). With 14 cases in the last 21 days, there is a relative decrease in cases coming from Beni Health Zone. Masereka and Lolwa Health Zones cleared 21 days without a new confirmed case of EVD.

As of 17 September, a total of 3145 EVD cases were reported, including 3034 confirmed and 111 probable cases, of which 2103 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 67%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56% (1760) were female, 29% (898) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (159) were health workers.

Under Pillar 1 of the current Strategic Response Plan, the estimated funding requirement for all partners for the period July to December 2019 is US$ 287 million, including US$ 120-140 million for WHO. As of 19 September 2019, close to US$ 60 million have been received by WHO, with further funds committed or pledged. Currently available funds will close the financing gap just up until the end of October 2019. Further resources are needed to fund the response through to December 2019. WHO is appealing to donors to provide generous support. A summary of funding received by WHO since the start of this outbreak can be found here.

Read more at the World Health Organization

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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