Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and often deadly illness caused by the Ebola virus. The Ebola virus can spread from person to person through direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from EVD. This can happen when a person touches the infected body fluids or objects that are contaminated with them, such as medical equipment like needles and syringes. The virus enters the body through broken skin, through the eyes, nose or mouth.
On August 1, 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported an EVD outbreak. This is the 10th and largest EVD outbreak in the DRC, and the second largest outbreak ever recorded since the virus was discovered in 1976 in the DRC. The outbreak is continuing with moderate intensity in the eastern part of the DRC. On July 17, 2019, the World Health Organization declared that the outbreak in the DRC was a “public health emergency of international concern.” This means that the outbreak is an extraordinary event that poses a public health threat to other nations through the spread of disease and usually requires a coordinated international response. The risk of Ebola virus spreading within the DRC and to countries bordering affected areas is high; however, the risk of Ebola virus spreading outside that region is low.