Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in DRC, May 2018

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The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Bikoro in Equateur Province on 8 May 2018. The outbreak declaration occurred after laboratory results confirmed two cases of EVD. Bikoro is situated in Equateur Province on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western part of the country near the Republic of the Congo, a very remote and not easily accessible area of the country.

This is DRC’s ninth outbreak of EVD since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976. In the past five weeks, there have been 21 suspected viral haemorrhagic fever cases including 17 deaths.

WHO is closely working with other partners, including MédecinsSans Frontières, to ensure a strong, response to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prevent and control the spreading of the disease.

The WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to DRC. The risk for international spread, including South Africa is low. There are no special precautions or directives for commercial flights, passengers or crew departing on flights bound for DRC or returning from DRC. The standard regulations for evidence of a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate apply as per the international health regulations for travellers.

Malaria as well as dengue fever, yellow fever and other endemic diseases e.g. typhoid fever and/or cholera are major considerations as possible causes of fever in any persons travelling from risk areas, including the DRC.