2002 - Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Gabon/The Republic of the Congo - Update 20
14 March 2002
Disease Outbreak Reported
Gabon: On 12 March 2002, the Gabonese Ministry of Health reported 60 confirmed cases, including 50 deaths. The most recent cases are confined to Ogooue-Invindo province. The last confirmed cases died in Makokou and Mekambo on 23 February and 10 March, respectively. Sixty-two contacts are being followed.
Republic of the Congo: As of 9 March 2002, 31 confirmed cases, including 18 deaths have been reported in villages in Cuvette region, Republic of the Congo, close to the border with Ogooue-Invindo province, Gabon. Currently 58 contacts are being followed in the Republic of the Congo.
Reports were received of deaths between mid-January and 8 March in 3 remote villages approximately 65 kilometres north-west of Kelle. The majority of the cases occurred in Ambomi. A 50 kilometre road has just been re-opened, and a team from Médecins sans Frontières (MSF-Holland), presently in Kelle, will travel to the villages as soon as possible. They are being joined by staff from WHO, the Congolese Ministry of Health and Epicentre-Paris, a partner in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. They will be collecting samples and quickly referring them for laboratory analysis and are prepared to implement barrier nursing practices, surveillance and health education activities, if indicated. WHO is providing additional protective equipment.