Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Map)

As of August 25, 2014, at least two cases of Ebola have been identified from Équateur Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the Ministry of Health from among 8 tested individuals. (link)

 According to the Minister of Health Felix Kabangue Numbi, the Ebola strains identified include Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV) and a Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV)/Sudan ebolavirus cross strain. According to Kabangue Numbi the Zaire and Sudan strains are very similar.

Although there is uncertainty over the strain or strains infecting individuals in this outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it does not appear to be the same strain that has recently infected more than 2500 people in Nigeria and Western Africa.

According to Kabangue Numbi, as many as 13 people have died from this Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The index case was apparently a pregnant woman who died on August 11. The husband of this woman has tested positive and a doctor, nurse, and hygienist who treat this pregnant woman as well as two additional health care workers have died. Other suspected cases in this outbreak include relatives or villagers who attended the woman’s funeral. (link)

Contact tracing has indicated that these cases have been reported from at least three villages, Djera, Lokolia, and Watsikengo, from the Boende territory or administrative zone which is part of the Tshuapa district or subregion of the Équateur Province. (see map below) Currently 11 contacts of these confirmed and suspected cases are in isolation.

Confounding the public health situation in the Boende territory is that up to 75 deaths have been recently reported from the region. According to the World Health Organization most of these individuals have died from “febrile gastroenteritis with haemorrhaging.” (see this FluTrackers thread) Whether any of these deaths beyond the 13 referenced by Kabangue Numbi are reclassified as Ebola deaths remains to be seen.

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