August 23, 2019

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Ebola Update

Ebola Cell


On August 1, 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Ebola. One year later, the outbreak continues in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.


Since the outbreak was announced, CDC subject matter experts have been on the ground in the DRC to support the Congolese and international response. The United States government, including CDC, is working with DRC, Uganda, WHO, other federal agencies, and other partners to support the current Ebola outbreak response by providing technical assistance and expertise in

• Disease tracking
• Case investigation
• Contact tracing
• Case management
• Infection prevention and control
• Safe burials
• Community engagement and social mobilization
• Risk communication and health education
• Behavioral science
• Laboratory testing
• Border health
• Data management
• Vaccination campaigns
• Logistics

As cases of Ebola continued to increase in the eastern region of DRC, and travel-associated cases were reported in neighboring Uganda, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 17, 2019 declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC).

As of August 23, 2019, a total of 2,942 cases, including 153 in healthcare workers, and 1,965 deaths have been reported. As of August 18, 2019, CDC has conducted 361 deployments to DRC, WHO headquarters, and neighboring countries since the beginning of the response. In addition, CDC staff already based in DRC, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan have intensified efforts on Ebola preparedness and response.

On July 31, 2019, the DRC government reported a second positive test result for Ebola virus in a person in Goma, an urban area in DRC that borders the country of Rwanda. The second case is not linked to the first case confirmed in Goma in mid-July. The patient has since died and additional cases have been reported.

Ebola Responder Spotlight

Here’s something you don’t see every day: A man talking into a coffee pot. But for CDC epidemiologist Norbert Soke and a team of colleagues in a hotel in Kinshasa, it was a way to break through a communications barrier. The pot held not coffee, but a cell phone—and speaking into it created an echo chamber that let the team power through a poor connection with colleagues in Goma, near the outbreak’s epicenter.

“That’s the beauty of field work. You need to be creative sometimes,” Soke says.

Soke grew up in Kinshasa, the capital of DRC, and earned an MD at the University of Kinshasa in 1995. He returned in March as the CDC and other global health agencies battled the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the eastern part of the country. Find out more about Norbert’s story, read his complete responder story.

Norbet Soke


Emergency Partner Resources

Visit our For Public Health Planners page for important resources like the Top 10 Ebola Response Planning Tips and information on Hospital Preparedness, Personal Protective Equipment, and Cleaning and Decontamination. Also, see CDC’s Ebola Communication Resources for factsheets and posters.


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Atlanta, GA 30333

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800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Rd Atlanta, GA 30333 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348
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