On 17 July 2019 the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the ongoing Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR).
To date, there have been over 2500 confirmed or probable cases of Ebola resulting in over 1600 deaths since the outbreak began in August 2018. The outbreak is predominantly affecting two provinces in the DRC, North Kivu and Ituri.
For New Zealand, no action is required. The World Health Organization has made recommendations for countries that are not directly affected and do not neighbour an affected country. These are very clear:
The World Health Organization has made a number of recommendations for affected countries and their neighbouring countries, relating to their operational responses (eg, vaccination, infection prevention, screening), surveillance, community engagement, and communications.
NGOs and/or DHBs that currently have programmes in these areas or are aware of staff intending to travel to affected regions will need to ensure that the necessary safety protocols are in place for those returning.
We will inform you if the situation changes.