A new Ebola outbreak in DRC

RECON members Jonathan Polonsky (WHO) and Thibaut Jombart (Imperial College London) joined the WHO response team for an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak which took place in DRC in May-July 2017. This deployment took place as part of the activation of the Global Alert and Response Network (GOARN). The outbreak was successfully contained after 8 EVD cases, including 4 fatalities, were reported in the Likati health zone, Bas Uele province. The end of the outbreak was officially declared by WHO on the 2nd July 2017, 42 days (i.e. 2x95th percentile of the incubation period) after the last confirmed case.

[WHO video: rapidly ending an Ebola outbreak]

RECON tools informed the response

A number of packages were used for improving situation awareness during this outbreak. epicontacts was used for visualising and analysing contact tracing data. incidence and epitrix were used in combination with 2 newly developed packages, earlyR and projections, to estimate the disease’s transmissibility and the associated uncertainty, and predict plausible epidemic courses. These predictions were used in real time for informing the response, showing that current efforts were sufficient for containing the outbreak, permitting to scale further efforts accordingly. These analyses are mentioned in the publicly available WHO situation reports such as this one.