On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola virus disease over the last four decades in the country, with the most recent one occurring in May 2017.

On 3 May 2018, the Provincial Health Division of Equateur reported 21 cases of fever with haemorrhagic signs including 17 community deaths in the Ikoko-Impenge Health Area in this region. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) visited the Ikoko-Impenge Health Area on 5 May 2018 and detected five active cases, two of whom were admitted to Bikoro General Hospital and three who were admitted in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge. Samples were taken from each of the five active cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa on 6 May 2018. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018 and the outbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018. The index case has not yet been identified and investigations are on-going including laboratory testing.

Since the last situation report, four additional cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) including three suspected and one probable case were reported from Bikoro and Wangata (Mbandaka City) health zones in Equateur Province as of 16 May 2018. In addition, 12 previously identified suspected cases were laboratory confirmed for EVD including one case from Wangata health zone in Mbandaka City – an urban centre with a population of more than 1 million people. No new health zones reported cases since the last situation report.

As of 16 May 2017, a cumulative total of 45 EVD cases including 25 deaths (case fatality rate = 56%) have been reported from three health zones in Equateur Province. The total includes 14 confirmed, 21 probable and 10 suspected cases in Bikoro (n=36), Iboko (n=5) and Wangata (4) health zones. Bikoro health zone remains the epidemic centre of the outbreak, reporting 80% of the total cases and 93% of the confirmed cases. Approximately 51% of the cases in Bikoro health zone were have reported from Ikoko-Impenge health area – the area from where the first cases were reported.

Please click here to download the complete situation report (PDF).