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Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Democratic Republic of Congo

21 Aug 2012

On 17 Aug 2012, the Ministry of Health for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) notified the World Health Organization 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). 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.

Advice for Travellers

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has assessed the risk for travellers and EU citizens residing in the country:

"The risk of residents and travellers becoming infected or developing the disease is extremely low, unless there has been direct contact with blood, bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. As a precautionary measure, EU citizens in DRC should avoid such contact. Travellers returning from tropical countries should always seek rapid medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache or general malaise) within three weeks after return."

WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions are applied to DRC.