2001 - Unverified rumours of viral haemorrhagic fever in Democratic Republic of Congo
05 January 2001
Disease Outbreak Reported
The onset of the outbreak of Ebola in Gulu, Uganda (see previous report) has heightened awareness of viral haemorrhagic fevers in the region. As a result, WHO has been investigating periodic rumours of similar outbreaks in the surrounding countries. In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), WHO has investigated rumours in Dungu, Bengadi, Isiro, Buta, Nyankunde and Bunia, and samples have been negative for Ebola.
As part of these ongoing operations, WHO is currently investigating unverified reports of 2 additional cases for which few clinical details have been reported, in Bunia, DRC. The WHO Outbreak Response Team in Gulu has been in contact with WHO Office, Goma, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Goma and the WHO sub-office in Bunia regarding these unverified rumours. A WHO surveillance officer at the Bunia sub-office is investigating the reports. In addition, a team from MSF and WHO will travel to Bunia early next week.
Previously 3 suspected cases were reported in Bunia, one in early August, one in mid-November and a third in late-November. WHO investigations demonstrated that these rumours were unfounded.