Ebola outbreak: UK Public Health Rapid Support Team deployed to DRC

22 May 2018

Article: 52/2003

On 8 May 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Government declared a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD), the country’s ninth outbreak (see current note 52/1905). The latest situation report can be found on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

The public health risk to the UK regarding the current Ebola outbreak is very low.

The UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST) is being deployed to the DRC to help control the outbreak of Ebola virus disease. The three UK-PHRST team members, two epidemiologists and a data scientist, are to remain in the DRC for around six weeks. UK-PHRST has the capability to rapidly deploy public health experts at 48 hours notice in order to strengthen the in-country response, curtail the spread of disease, and ultimately save lives.

The deployment is in response to a call from the WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN). The GOARN team, which the members of the UK-PHRST will be part of, is working closely with the government of the DRC to rapidly scale up its operations in response to the current outbreak.

As the UK-PHRST’s deployment progresses, it will continue to provide support and share expertise with partners in DRC to strengthen the health system beyond the immediate response.

A rapid risk assessment on the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC has been published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Further information and advice for clinicians advising travellers can be accessed on the TRAVAX website.

Source: Public Health England (PHE), 18 May 2018