Weekly Update on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): Preparedness for South Sudan Update #43 (08 July 2019)

1. Highlights of the week

Two suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD) alert were reported in Yei on 5 and 6 July 2019. Samples was shipped to Juba National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) for preliminary testing and sent for confirmation in Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). Results are expected between 8 and 10 July respectively.

On 6 July 2019 the first preliminary test for Ebola conducted at the national Public Health Laboratory in Juba using the recently installed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine was invalid. Confirmation is now being pursued from the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

84,804 screenings were conducted for EVD at 31 points of entry during week 27. The cumulative number of screenings conducted since August 2018 is 2,494,212.

EVD Secretariat and WHO convened a meeting with implementing partners to coordinate follow up actions following the confirmed case of EVD in Ariwara in DRC, just 70 km away from South Sudan. Staff from WHO, IOM and WFP deployed to Yei to engage with partners and review and strengthen preparedness measures. The team comprised WHO (Logistician, HF IPC WASH, Risk Communication and Epidemiologist) and humanitarian partners (IOM and WFP). On Friday 5th July the WHO team travelled overland to Kaya border crossing where they provided technical supervision and guidance to the implementing partner to isolate, install IPC measures, collect and pack samples and manage a suspect patient.

IOM continues to monitor people crossing the DRC border to South Sudan, and strengthen screening.

The EVD Secretariat and WHO provided a briefing to Heads of Cooperation in South Sudan, with epidemiological updates, a summary of preparedness measures to date, and an overview of the funding situation and additional requirements.

On July 5 2019, the Undersecretary for Health, Dr. Makur Kariom issued a press release on the situation of Ebola preparedness activities in South Sudan. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment towards EVD prevention and preparedness, and acknowledged ongoing efforts of donors and operational partners.

2. Situation update – Democratic Republic of Congo

As of 6 July 2019, 2,408 confirmed cases and 1,625 deaths (case fatality rate 67.5 %) had been reported.

90 new cases and 139 deaths were reported over a one week period (25 June to 2 July) indicating that the outbreak is not under control.

Figure 1 below shows the EPI-Curve of new EVD cases in DRC. Although the recent trend in the number of new cases each week is decreasing this should be interpreted with caution given the high number of unknown contacts within the community.

Ring vaccinations continue around Ariwara within close proximity of South Sudan border with some 626 frontline health care workers vaccinated as of 1 July.

3. Situation update – Uganda

As of 6 July 2019, a total of 3 cases had been confirmed, all of which resulted in death (case fatality rate 100%).

4 July 2019 was day 21 since the death of the last confirmed case. 93 contacts have been under follow up with no one reported with developing signs and symptoms suggestive of EVD since the outbreak was declared on June 12th 2019.

1,437 individuals have been vaccinated: 78 contacts, 747 contacts of contacts and 612 frontline health workers.

Active case search and death surveillance are ongoing in the health facilities and the communities as the district response team continue to investigate all alerts.

Source: World Health Organization