02 Jul 2020

Ebola virus disease in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, DRC declared over

The 10th Ebola virus disease in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been declared over Ebola virus disease in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, DRC declared over

On 25 June 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the 10th Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which affected the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu, is over. The outbreak, declared in North Kivu on 1 August 2018, was the second largest in the world, and was particularly challenging as it occurred in an active conflict zone. There were 3,470 cases, 2,287 deaths and 1,171 survivors [1].

The WHO, who supported the response undertaken during this complex and difficult outbreak, commended the leadership and commitment of the Government of the DRC and the efforts of all those involved including the communities affected by EVD [1].

On 26 June 2020, the Emergency Committee, convened by the WHO, agreed the current situation in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu no longer constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern [2]. However, the WHO stressed it will be necessary to be vigilant in maintaining strong surveillance and response systems for EVD going forward [1, 2].

On 1 June 2020, a separate and unrelated new outbreak of EVD was declared in Mbandaka, Equateur Province, in western Democratic Republic of the Congo [3].

Advice for travellers

Travellers to Ebola risk areas should:

  • avoid anyone with symptoms.
  • avoid contact with blood and body fluids and any items that may have been contaminated with blood and body fluids, like clothes, bedding or medical equipment.
  • avoid contact with animals, especially bats and non-human primates (monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees).
  • follow safer sex advice - always use condoms.
  • do not eat, cook or prepare any type of raw or wild meat (bushmeat) or any meat from unknown sources.
  • always wash and peel fruit and vegetables carefully.
  • follow good food, water and personal hygiene advice, including careful, regular hand washing with soap and water (or alcohol gel if soap is unavailable).
  • if attending a funeral, mourners should avoid all contact with the deceased, their body fluids and their personal property.
  • ring their GP for advice or call NHS111 if they become unwell after returning to the UK. It is important returning travellers provide details of any recent travel to their health professional so appropriate measures and testing can be carried out. It's extremely unlikely that Ebola will be the cause of fever or other symptoms, but other serious conditions such as malaria or typhoid may be a risk.

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals are advised to be vigilant for individuals who develop an acute illness within 3 weeks of returning from an Ebola risk area.

More detailed information on Ebola virus disease: clinical management and guidance is available on the Public Health England website.


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