Ebola Resource Center

Ebola Resource Center

May 07, 2022
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Third case reported in ongoing Congo Ebola outbreak

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Heath officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo this week confirmed a third case of Ebola in an ongoing outbreak that has killed two people.

The outbreak in Mbandaka, Equateur province, was declared on April 23 after the first case was confirmed. The patient, a 31-year-old man from Mbandaka, began having symptoms on April 5. He was admitted to two health facilities between April 16 and 21 and died on April 21.

IDN0522Mbandaka_Outbreak_Graphic_01_WEB
WHO.

The second case, a 25-year-old female family member of the first patient, was confirmed on April 25. WHO reported that the woman had symptoms on April 13 and was treated at home for 5 days before visiting a prayer house, health center, pharmacy and the home of a nurse. She died on April 25.

The bodies of people who have recently died from Ebola are highly contagious, and unsafe funerals for Ebola victims have been linked to further transmission. WHO noted that the first two cases in the current outbreak were buried using safe and dignified practices.

A third case was confirmed by WHO on May 4 in a 48-year-old man who was reported to be a “high-risk contact” of the first case. As of May 5, 444 contacts had been identified and additional contact tracing and investigations, as well as decontamination of households and health facilities, were ongoing.

WHO said responders have begun administering Merck’s Ebola vaccine to help control the outbreak.

It is the third Ebola outbreak in Equateur province, and the 14th in Congo since the virus was discovered there in 1976. Previous outbreaks in Equateur province occurred in 2020 and 2018, with 130 and 54 confirmed and probable cases recorded, respectively.

Genomic testing indicated that the current outbreak is a new spillover from the animal population.