Just over a month after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Bikoro, experts say they are cautiously optimistic that the response to the outbreak has been effective.
The initial response to the outbreak focused on protecting the town of Bikoro and the city of Mbandaka from a potentially exponential increase in cases, with ring vaccination of contacts of those affected, using an experimental vaccine, beginning on May 21st. The next phase will see the response move to more remote areas and the World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting nine countries bordering the DRC to scale up their national emergency preparedness and response capacities.
“It’s far too early to declare victory, but the signals are positive and we are cautiously optimistic,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We have new weapons and together with the government and our partners, we have acted with urgency to save lives. We will remain vigilant until this outbreak is over.”
Latest figures (up to 7 June 2018) show there have been a total of 59 confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola cases, of which 27 people have died. A new case was confirmed on 6 June.