Emergencies preparedness, response

Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the Republic of the Congo - update 6

6 January 2004

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 24 December, 2003, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of the Congo reported a total of 35 cases including 29 deaths of Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) in Mbomo (31 cases, 25 deaths) and Mbandza (4 cases, 4 deaths) villages located in Mbomo district, Cuvette Ouest Department. The last death was reported on 3 December and no further cases have been reported since then. (see previous report)

Laboratory testing carried out by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF), Gabon has confirmed the diagnosis of Ebola in clinical samples from 16 patients. Laboratory testing was carried out in the field in collaboration with the Institute of Microbiology of Munich, Germany, the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control (LCDC) of Winnipeg, Canada and CIRMF.

The WHO Country Office supported the National Control Committee which includes the Ministries of Defence and Foresty and other partners: the European Union Humanitarian Office (ECHO), French Cooperation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the National Red Cross Society, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)-Holland and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Intensive social mobilization activities were carried out by the Ministry of Health and WHO, with specific health education meetings for women held in Mbomo, Olloba and Mbandza villages.