Information about incidents and outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg, both viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF).
Current incidents and outbreaks
Republic of Guinea
On 14 February 2021, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) was declared in Gouécké, in the prefecture of Nzérékoré, South East Guinea. This is Guinea’s second EVD outbreak, the first being the 2014 to 2016 West African EVD outbreak. As of 3 May 2021, 16 confirmed and 7 probable cases have been reported, including 12 fatalities and 10 recoveries. The outbreak response is continuing in Guinea and further cases are likely to be identified as this outbreak evolves. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that this outbreak was related to a recent outbreak of EVD in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A vaccination campaign was launched on 23 February 2021. As of 3 May 2021, 8,475 people have been vaccinated, including 88% of targeted contacts. There are ongoing challenges associated with community reluctance to engage with response activities including the follow-up and isolation of suspected cases.
This outbreak presents a negligible to very low risk to the UK public (Public Health England risk assessment).
Previous incidents and outbreaks 2016 to 2020
On 7 February 2021, DRC’s 12th Ebola outbreak was declared in Butembo, a city in North Kivu Province in North East DRC. During the outbreak, there were 12 cases reported (11 confirmed), including 6 fatalities and 6 recoveries. The outbreak was declared over on 3 May 2021, just 3 months after the first case was reported, which was attributed to the prompt response of DRC’s health authorities and healthcare workers drawing upon their previous experiences in tackling outbreaks within the country.
Between 1 June and 18 November 2020, 130 cases (119 confirmed and 11 probable) and 55 deaths were reported from 13 of the 18 health zones in the province. This was DRC’s 11th EVD outbreak.
2018 to 2020
Between 1 August 2018 and 25 June 2020, 3,470 cases, 2,287 deaths and 1,171 survivors of EVD were reported across 3 provinces in DRC: Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu. This outbreak, DRC’s 10th, is the longest lasting EVD incident in the country’s history, and the second largest in the world after the 2014 to 2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa. The response to this outbreak was particularly challenging as it took place in an active conflict zone.
United Republic of Tanzania
On 10 September 2019, WHO was made aware of unofficial reports of an unexplained death of a person in Dar es Salaam. It appears probable this was an Ebola-related death.
Between 8 May and 24 July 2018 DRC reported their ninth EVD outbreak which resulted in 54 cases (38 confirmed and 16 probable), including 33 deaths.
Bas-Uele Province, DRC
Between May and July 2017 an EVD outbreak consisting of 8 cases (5 confirmed), including 4 fatalities was recorded. This was DRC’s eighth EVD outbreak.
West Africa Ebola outbreak, 2014 to 2016
WHO confirmed an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in south-eastern Guinea in March 2014. This was the first time an outbreak had been diagnosed in this part of Africa, and the index case was traced back to December 2013.
The outbreak spread to neighbouring and nearby countries, particularly Liberia and Sierra Leone, and became the largest ever known outbreak of this disease. It continued for more than 2 years and a total of 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths.
Linked Ebola outbreaks and cases in other countries (2014 to 2015)
Two importations leading to a total of 8 cases.
Twenty cases in Lagos and Port Harcourt, following an initial importation from Liberia.
A single case imported from Guinea.
One case in a returning healthcare worker.
One case in a healthcare worker involved in the care of patients repatriated from West Africa.
One case was imported into Scotland in December 2014. The patient was a healthcare worker who had been working in an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone.
A single EVD case was imported from Liberia into Texas in September 2014. Transmission to 2 healthcare workers subsequently occurred. A further case of EVD was confirmed in a humanitarian aid worker who returned from Guinea in October 2014.
You can find more information on EVD outbreaks prior to 2014.