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Ebola Virus Disease in Democratic Republic of Congo (Confirmed)

26 Aug 2014

The recently reported outbreak of gastroenteritis with haemorrhagic fever in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has now been laboratory confirmed as Ebola virus disease (EVD)

In Kinshasa, the Congolese Health Minister declared that two of the eight samples taken from cases of gastroenteritis with haemorrhagic fever have tested positive for Ebola virus.

The outbreak in DRC is taking place in a remote jungle area of Equateur province and is not linked to the onging outbreak in West Africa as the strain of Ebola virus is different in both outbreaks.

A quarantine has been imposed around the affected area in Equateur province near Jera, which is more than 1200 kilometres (750 miles) northeast of the capital Kinshasa.

This is the seventh outbreak of EVD in DRC, since the virus was first identified in 1976 near the Ebola River in DRC.

Advice for Travellers

The risk of travellers becoming infected or developing gastroenteritis with haemorrhagic fever is extremely low, unless there has been direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. Healthcare workers are at particular risk, although practising appropriate infection control should effectively prevent transmission of disease in this setting.

Travellers returning from tropical countries should always seek rapid medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, diarrhoea or general malaise) within three weeks after return, and be reminded to mention to their health care provider that they have recently travelled.