Recent ebola outbreak

There has been a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the central African nation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and partnering groups have jointly implemented a proactive response that has contained the disease to the northwestern region of the country to date. This response includes experimental but promising medical treatments and the use of an investigational vaccine for those at high risk for EVD.  So far, more than 2500 people have been vaccinated.

There have been no cases of EVD related to this outbreak reported outside of the DRC. According to the (June 19) WHO update, in-country there are 62 cases of EVD, including: 38 cases confirmed by testing,14 probable cases, and 10 suspected cases, with a case fatality rate between 40 and 50%.1 The WHO Emergency Committee does not consider this outbreak to be an International Health Event to date, although close monitoring by public health authorities is appropriate, particularly since one of the areas is urban which makes global spread more possible. 

The IAED is advising emergency dispatch centers to closely monitor the situation by regularly checking this (IAED) website, the FirstWatch Health Intelligence Page website, and especially the latest updates from public health authorities in your country, region, province, state, county, or municipality. The IAED does not recommend any special surveillance or enhanced screening of emergency calls at this time, unless mandated by your public health authorities.

Also, all emergency dispatch centers are advised to review their enhanced screening and surveillance policies and procedures, including the use of the IAED Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance Tool (EIDS), (MPDS) Protocol 36, and use of real-time surveillance software such as FirstWatch. Further, agencies should review any 2014 Ebola after-action reports and establish clear triggers for the activation of EIDS tools in consultation with Medical Directors and the lead public health agency in your service area.

It is also important to share information that you gather or have access to, with regards to implementing precautions or otherwise reacting to this outbreak, with IAED and/or FirstWatch. Should there be an actual case that is being monitored by public health in your area, please share this information through an appropriate outlet so others can learn from actual practice.

During the 2014 EVD outbreak, the relatively rapid geographic spread of EVD through several countries in West Africa, along with a few cases appearing in Europe and the United States, triggered international efforts among dispatch centers in doing enhanced emergency caller screening for symptoms of EVD, travel history, and exposure risk questioning. For perspective, the EVD outbreak in 2014 primarily affected 3 countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In total, more than 28,600 cases and 11,300 deaths were reported by the WHO.

1.    Ebola Virus Disease, Democratic Republic of the Congo, External Situation Report 11. 2018. World Health Organization,
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272859/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20.... Accessed 06/20/2018
Below are some websites that currently have EVD outbreak information:
World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int/ebola/situation-reports/drc-2018/en/
United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/drc/2018-may.html
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/ebola.html
Public Health England https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ebola-and-marburg-haemorrhagic-fevers-outbre...
FirstWatch https://www.firstwatch.net/hi/