Second outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of Congo

250

August 10, 2018

Following the announcement of the end of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 24 July 2018 (see WHO press release: http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/24-07-2018-ebola-outbreak-in-drc-ends-who-calls-for-international-efforts-to-stop-other-deadly-outbreaks-in-the-country), the Health Ministry of the DRC announced a second outbreak of EVD within its borders on 1 August 2018 (see WHO website: http://www.who.int/ebola/en/ and http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/273640/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20180807-eng.pdf?ua=1).

A total of 43 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been identified, of which 34 had a fatal outcome. Subsequent laboratory testing confirmed EVD for 16 of cases investigated. The numbers of cases will continue to fluctuate in coming days as the investigation continues to confirm and discount cases. The cases have been reported from the health zones of the North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, located towards the eastern border of the DRC. This is a remote location in the DRC, located more than 3000 Km from the capital Kinhasa. Containment efforts, including vaccination, are being mobilized (see http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/273640/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20180807-eng.pdf?ua=1).

Molecular sequencing of outbreak samples have indicated the involvement of the Ebola virus Zaire strain in this outbreak. The previous outbreak in the Equateur Province also involved the Zaire strain, but the two outbreaks are unrelated.

WHO advises against any restriction of travel and trade to the DRC based on the currently available information. WHO continues to monitor travel and trade measures in relation to this event. The regulations for evidence of a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate apply for travel to any part of the DRC. Precautions against malaria should be applied as per routine practice. Malaria must be considered a high priority in the investigation and management of any febrile traveller.

Follow these links to read more about EVD:

National Institute for Communicable Diseases: http://www.nicd.ac.za/index.php/ebola-virus-disease/

World Health Organization, Ebola virus disease webpage: http://www.who.int/ebola/en/.