From 1 January through 13 September 2020, a total of 4,594 suspected cases of monkeypox, including 171 deaths (case fatality ratio 3.7%), have been reported in 127 health zones from 17 out of 26 provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The first epidemic peak was observed at the beginning of March 2020 (epi week 10), with 136 cases reported weekly (Figure1). From 1 January through 7 August, the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) received 80 samples from suspected cases of monkeypox, of which 39 samples were confirmed positive by polymerase chain reaction. Four out of the 80 specimens were skin lesions (crusts/vesicles), the remaining samples were blood. There is no further information at this time regarding the outcome of these 80 patients whose samples were tested. Confirmatory testing remains ongoing.
During the same period in 2019, 3,794 suspected cases and 73 deaths (CFR 1.9%) were reported in 120 health zones from 16 provinces while a total of 2,850 suspected cases (CFR 2.1%) were reported in 2018.