In a follow-up on the report of a suspected Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) eastern province of North Kivu, the Minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention, Doctor Jean-Jacques Mbungani Mbanda stated in an official note (computer translated):
“This is a 46-year-old female subject hospitalized on July 26, 2022 at the Beni General Reference Hospital. She died in an array of respiratory distress on an HIV-tuberculosis immunopressure field on August 15, 2022 in intensive care in Beni. A routine sample was taken on the same date in Beni. The sample was tested positive for Ebola virus disease at the Beni laboratory in Beni and then confirmed at the INRB laboratory in Goma.
According to the report:
“Based on the experience acquired in the management of this disease and with the availability of vaccines and therapeutic molecules, the teams of the provincial health division and the health zone of Beni are already hard at work on the field to carry out response activities, including the decontamination of health care establishments and households, as well as the listing and follow-up of approximately 160 contacts identified on this day. Finally, the planning of vaccination and case management, the sensitization of the population,” adds this document.
Africa CDC continues to monitor the situation of EVD in the DRC while supporting the strengthening of surveillance systems in DRC and bordering countries. EVD remains a public health emergency in DRC and a high-risk pathogen for neighbouring countries.
Africa CDC recommends that African Union Member State should remain vigilant. In doing this, they are advised to:
- Enhance cross-border surveillance efforts by:
- Mapping population movements to identify all potential crossing points where there is risk of disease spread
- Setting up screening posts and conducting health screenings for all travellers to detect signs and symptoms of EVD (e.g. fever, rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, and haemorrhage)
- Sharing health information for EVD at borders.
- Integrate EVD surveillance into the existing surveillance strategies at community and health facility levels.
- Perform contact tracing and follow up of all probable and confirmed EVD cases.
- Enhance IPC measures in health care settings and affected communities.
- Notify and routinely share data regarding confirmed EVD cases, deaths, recoveries, tests conducted and healthcare workers infected with Africa CDC to inform these and other updates. Notify Africa CDC by emailing: AfricaCDCEBS@africa-union.org .
- Provide information to the general public about seeking immediate medical care for those who develop symptoms similar to EVD.
AFRICA CDC RESPONSE EFFORTS
- The Africa CDC Emergency Operations Centre remains in alert mode and is closely monitoring the situation in DRC.
- The Africa CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Division engaged the MoH and is planning a rapid needs assessment to identify areas of potential support.
This latest case was confirmed six weeks after the most recent EVD outbreak in Equateur province was declared over on 4 July 2022. It is the third EVD outbreak declared in the North Kivu province since 2018. Results from genome sequencing revealed that the current outbreak is linked to the 2018 – 2020 EVD outbreak that occurred in the North Kivu province of DRC and may not represent any new spillover event.