Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo

On 17 August 2012, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the Isiro and Dungu Health Zones of Province Orientale in Eastern DRC. A total of 10 suspected cases (9 in Isiro and 1 in Dungu) and 6 deaths (5 deaths in Isiro and 1 in Dungu) have been reported.

Laboratory investigations conducted at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), Entebbe, Uganda, confirmed Ebola virus (Bundibugyo species). Three samples taken from two patients turned out positive for Ebola. A National Task Force convened by the Congolese Ministry of Health, is working with several partners including WHO, MSF and CDC. A joint MoH, WHO and MSF emergency response team are in the field to conduct a detailed epidemiological investigation and case management.

WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health in the areas of coordination, surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory, case management, logistics for outbreak, public information and social mobilization. An additional team of experts from Congo, DRC and IST/Gabon comprised of an epidemiologist, a logistician, an anthropologist and social mobilisation officers are being mobilized for possible deployment in the field. Control activities that are being carried include active case finding and contact tracing, enhanced surveillance, case management, public information and social mobilization and reinforcing infection control practices.

WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Democratic Republic of Congo.

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