Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in DRC: A public health emergency

On August 1, 2018, The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported a cluster of cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in North Kivu province. On August 1, 2019, one year since the outbreak was declared, a joint statement from The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The World Food Program (WFP) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. WHO described this Ebola outbreak as the worst, after West African epidemic of 2014 (mainly in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone).

The situation isn’t all doom and gloom though – Seven days after declaration of this outbreak, trained teams of researchers were able to assess the efficacy of rVSV-ZEBOV-GP a candidate Ebola vaccine (first tested in West Africa) using the ring vaccination strategy. The estimated vaccine efficacy for those with onset of illness 10 days or more post vaccination was 97.5%, 95% CI [92.4 – 99.1]; and for those with EVD regardless of timing of onset of illness was 88.1%, 95% CI [79.9-92.9]. This report shows how Integration of research into the outbreak facilitated assessment of the candidate Ebola vaccine while contributing to the control of the outbreak.

Additional Information:
1. Ebola Virus Disease – Key Facts: World Health Organization (WHO)

2. Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo – December 28, 2019

3. Africa’s Newest Ebola Outbreak Reaches City of 1 Million People

4. Preliminary results on the efficacy of rVSV-ZEBOV-GP Ebola vaccine using the ring vaccination strategy in the control of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: an example of integration of research into epidemic response.