Emergencies preparedness, response

2002 - Suspected acute haemorrhagic fever syndrome in Gabon

24 June 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

On 19 June, the Gabonese Ministry of Health (MoH) received reports of 2 deaths of suspected acute haemorrhagic fever syndrome in Zadie district, Ogooué-Ivindo Province in the north-eastern part of the country. On the 20 June, a team from MoH and WHO (African sub-regional epidemic response team) went to the village of Ekata to investigate. Two suspected cases of acute haemorrhagic fever syndrome were identified, as well as 31 contacts of these cases. Both cases became ill while in Oloba, Mbomo district, the Republic of the Congo (see latest update) and both died in Ekata, Gabon. It appears that at least one of these persons was infected while caring for a similar case in Oloba. It was not possible to collect samples to determine the etiology of this cluster of cases. Health care workers in Zadie district are following the contacts.

This same area in Gabon was the site of an epidemic of Ebola haemorrhagic fever that began in late October 2001. The last case died on 19 March and Gabonese officials declared that the outbreak had ended on 6 May 2002, approximately 2 incubation periods after any possible contact with the last case.