1997 - Monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire)
21 March 1997
Disease Outbreak Reported
Increased activity of monkeypox was reported in Katako-Kombe health zone, Sankuru sub-region, Kasai Orental during 1997 (see Weekly Epidemiological Record No.43, 25 October 1997). Médecins Sans Frontières investigated those cases which could be traced in September 1997. Samples were obtained from 11 cases all of which were subsequently confirmed as monkeypox by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Smallpox and other Poxvirus Infections at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA. Concern about the unusual high number of cases and the apparent increased transmission between human cases triggered a multidisciplinary investigation in February 1997. A team was set up composed of national experts, local WHO staff, staff from CDC, Atlanta, USA and Epiet, Paris, France. The report of the investigations will be published simultaneously in forthcoming issues of the Weekly Epidemiological Record, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and the Eurosurveillance bulletin.