Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched a response to the confirmed Ebola viral hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The medical organisation, present in DRC for more than 30 years, is sending doctors, nurses, logistics experts and hygiene specialists to the epicenter of this outbreak.

“We received confirmation on Sunday that four of the samples our team took last week have tested positive for Ebola virus,” says Jeroen Beijnberger, MSF Medical Coordinator in DRC.

DRC map
Democratic Republic of the Congo/CIA

Quick response

“We are responding fast to try to isolate the suspect and confirmed patients and to start the work of contact tracing.”

Working with the Congolese Ministry of Health, MSF is setting up an Ebola management centre in Lokolia, the area most affected by the outbreak in the Boende health zone.

“Our key objective for now is to do all we can to stop the outbreak spreading and to protect other people from catching the virus,” says Beijnberger.

Origin unknown

No link with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been established, although that cannot be categorically discounted.

“For now, we consider this outbreak as an unfortunate coincidence,” says Beijnberger.

“We are trying to confirm the origin of the outbreak, but at this time nothing points to a direct link with the epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.”

Read more