Experts have voiced deep concern over the recent increase in Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission in parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the potential risk of spread to neighbouring countries.
On Friday (12 April), a meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for EVD was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General to discuss the current outbreak.
While the committee said the ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the DRC does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, there was concern about current levels of transmission, which it said required 'close attention'.
The committee said greater effort is needed to contain the outbreak, including additional efforts to detect cases as early as possible, identify and follow-up all contacts and ensure the highest level of vaccination coverage of all contacts and contacts of contacts. Sustained efforts must be made to prevent nosocomial transmission and to shorten time between onset of disease and access to high standards of care and therapeutics at Ebola treatment units, it said.
The committee advised the WHO Director General to continue to monitor the situation closely and reconvene the Emergency Committee as needed.