Second outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of Congo reported on 1 August 2018

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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://www.who.int/csr/don/4-august-2018-ebola-drc/en/).

A total of 43 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been identified, of which 30 had a fatal outcome. Subsequent laboratory testing confirmed EVD for 13 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.

Currently it is not clear if there is a link between the previous and the current outbreaks, but due to the vast distance between the two locations (approximately 2500 Km), it is believed to be unlinked. Investigations are ongoing to determine the species of the virus involved in the current outbreak.

WHO advises against any restriction of travel and trade to the Democratic Republic of the Congo 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. 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 traveler.

Updated reports will be circulated as more information becomes available.

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/.