Global Alert and Response (GAR)

1999 - Acute haemorrhagic fever syndrome in the Democratic Republic of Congo

30 April 1999

Disease Outbreak Reported

An outbreak of suspected viral haemorrhagic fever has been reported in Durba, Watsa Zone, in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Clinical features include fever, headache, lassitude, gastrointestinal bleeding, coughing up blood and agitiation. The first cases are believed to have occurred in January 1999. Between January and 28 April, 50 cases, with 46 deaths have been recorded (CFR=92%). The earliest cases appear to have occurred in gold miners, but now cases are occurring among those living in the community. The WHO Office in DRC and the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe and MSF(Belgium and Holland) are preparing a team to investigate. The security situation in the area is poor and access to the affected area may be extremely difficult.

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