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Definition 1

The Kivu Ebola epidemic was an outbreak of Ebola virus disease that ravaged the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda in Central Africa from 2018 to 2020.[1] Between 1 August 2018 and 25 June 2020 it resulted in 3,470 reported cases and 2,280 deaths.[2][3]

Definition 2

In November 2018, the outbreak became the biggest Ebola outbreak in DRC history,[4][5][6] and had become the second largest Ebola outbreak in recorded history worldwide,[2] behind only the 2013 to 2016 Western Africa epidemic.[2][7]

Epidemiology 1

On 14 July 2019, the first case of EVD was confirmed in the capital of North Kivu, Goma, a city with an international airport and a highly mobile population of 2 million people located near the DRC eastern border with Rwanda.[8][9][10] This case triggered the decision by the WHO to convene an emergency committee, where the situation was officially declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.[11]

Epidemiology 2

At the time of the epidemic, there were about 70 armed military groups, among them the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo and the Mai Mayi Nduma défense du Congo Rénové, in North Kivu. The fighting displaced thousands of individuals[12] and seriously affected the response to the outbreak.[13][14]

Epidemiology 3

On 11 June 2019, the WHO reported that the virus had spread to Uganda. A 5 year old Congolese boy entered Uganda on the previous Sunday with his family to seek medical care. On 12 June, the WHO reported that the 5 year old patient had died, while 2 more cases of Ebola infection within the same family were also confirmed.[15][16]


The DRC Ministry of Public Health confirmed that the new Ebola outbreak was caused by the Zaire ebolavirus species, the same strain involved in the early 2018 outbreak in western DRC, but different genetic coding.[17][18] The most lethal of the six known strains , Zaire ebolavirus strain is fatal in up to 90 percent of cases.[19] Equitorial Africa is where the majority of Ebola outbreaks have occured.[20]

Natural reservoir

Both Ebola and Marburg virus are part of the Filoviridae family,[21] which is a virus family that causes severe hemorrhagic fever.[22]The natural reservoir of the virus is thought to be the African fruit bat,[23] which is used in many parts of Africa as bushmeat.[24]


Ebola virus is found in a variety of bodily fluids, such as breast milk, saliva, stool, blood, and semen, rendering it highly contagious due to ease of contact. Although a few transmission methods are known, there is a possibility that many other methods are unknown and must be further researched. Here are some potential routes of transmission, droplets, fomites and bodily fluids.[25][26]

Prevention 1

On 8 August 2018, the process of vaccination began with rVSV ZEBOV Ebola vaccine.[27] WHO reported that it was being used under a ring vaccination strategy with what is known as compassionate use to protect persons at highest risk of the Ebola outbreak, i.e. contacts of those infected, contacts of those contacts, and front-line medical personnel.[28]

Prevention 2

As of 15 September, according to the WHO, almost a quarter of a million individuals had been vaccinated in the outbreak.[29]Vaccination had helped to contain the epidemic, though military attacks and community resistance had complicated distribution of the vaccines.[30]


In October 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved atoltivimab,maftivimab,odesivimab which is a monoclonal antibody drug combination with an indication for the treatment of infection caused by Zaire ebolavirus.[31]


In terms of prognosis, aside from the possible effects of post Ebola syndrome,[32] there is also the reality of survivors returning to communities where they might be shunned due to the fear many have towards the Ebola virus,[33][34] hence psychosocial assistance is needed.[35]


  1. "History of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreaks". 22 January 2021. Archived from the original on 11 March 2021. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "WHO | Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo". WHO. Archived from the original on 11 March 2021. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  3. "DR Congo's deadliest Ebola outbreak declared over". BBC News. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  4. "EBOLA RDC – Evolution de la riposte contre l'épidémie d'Ebola dans les provinces du Nord Kivu et de l'Ituri au Vendredi 9 novembre 2018". (in français). Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  5. "Current Ebola Outbreak Is Worst in Congo's History: Ministry". Us News and World report. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
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  7. Maxmen, Amy (26 June 2020). "World's second-deadliest Ebola outbreak ends in Democratic Republic of the Congo". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-020-01950-0. S2CID 220503726. Archived from the original on 11 March 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  8. Grady, Denise (15 July 2019). "Ebola Outbreak Reaches Major City in Congo, Renewing Calls for Emergency Order". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  9. "Congo confirms 1st Ebola case in city of Goma". KPIC. Associated Press. 14 July 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
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  11. Goldberg, Mark Leon (17 July 2019). "The World Health Organization Just Declared an Ebola "Emergency" in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here's What That Means". UN Dispatch. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  12. "Atrocity Alert, No. 116, 1 August 2018". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  13. "Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo: Disease outbreak news, 4 August 2018". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  14. "Conflict in new Ebola zone of DR Congo exacerbates complexity of response: WHO emergency response chief". UN News. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  15. Hunt, Katie. "Ebola outbreak enters 'truly frightening phase' as it turns deadly in Uganda". CNN. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  16. Winsor, Morgan (12 June 2019). "Ebola-stricken boy who became 1st cross-border case in growing outbreak dies". ABC News. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  17. "Rapid risk assessment: Ebola virus disease outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo - Democratic Republic of the Congo". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  18. Cohen, Jon (3 August 2018). "Updated: Officials move to use vaccine against new Ebola outbreak". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aau9734.
  19. Rewar, Suresh; Mirdha, Dashrath (8 May 2015). "Transmission of Ebola Virus Disease: An Overview". Annals of Global Health. 80 (6): 444–51. doi:10.1016/j.aogh.2015.02.005. PMID 25960093.
  20. "Outbreaks Chronology: Ebola Virus Disease". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology; Viral Special Pathogens Branch), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. 20 October 2016 [Last updated 14 April 2016]. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  21. "Filoviridae". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  22. "Filoviridae | Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs) | CDC". 13 February 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  23. Leroy, E.; Gonzalez, J. P.; Pourrut, X. (2007). "Ebolavirus and Other Filoviruses". Wildlife and Emerging Zoonotic Diseases: The Biology, Circumstances and Consequences of Cross-Species Transmission. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology. Vol. 315. pp. 363–387. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-70962-6_15. ISBN 978-3-540-70961-9. PMC 7121322. PMID 17848072.
  24. "Why West Africans keep hunting and eating bush meat despite Ebola concerns". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  25. Judson, Seth; Prescott, Joseph; Munster, Vincent (3 February 2015). "Understanding Ebola Virus Transmission". Viruses. 7 (2): 511–521. doi:10.3390/v7020511. PMC 4353901. PMID 25654239.
  26. "Transmission | Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever | CDC". 6 November 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  27. "Ebola vaccination begins in North Kivu". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  28. "Ebola Virus Disease". World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  29. "Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin, Week 37: 9 - 15 September 2019". WHO | Regional Office for Africa. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  30. "Congo records 5 new Ebola cases, shelves declaration of end to epidemic". Reuters. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  31. "FDA Approves First Treatment for Ebola Virus". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Press release). 14 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  32. Burki, Talha Khan (July 2016). "Post-Ebola syndrome". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 16 (7): 780–781. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00259-5. PMID 27352759.
  33. "Ebola survivors returning home to fear, stigma in Congo". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  34. Maliro, Al-Hadji Kudra; Petesch, Carley. "Ebola survivors returning home to fear, stigma in Congo". ABC News. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  35. "DRC children deeply affected by Ebola outbreak – UNICEF | Africanews". Africanews. 2018-08-21. Retrieved 5 September 2018.