Published Date: 2007-09-20 19:00:09
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Ebola hemorrhagic fever - Congo DR (05): WHO
Archive Number: 20070920.3132
EBOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER - CONGO DR (05): WHO
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 20 Sep 2007
Source: World Health Organization (WHO), CSR, Disease Outbreak News [edited]
As of Thu 20 Sep 2007, The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC), with the support of international partners, is
continuing field investigations to determine the extent of the outbreak of
Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the Province of Kasai Occidental. Active
surveillance is under way to investigate recent deaths in the affected
communities, to identify other suspected cases, and to follow up all
contacts. Case numbers associated with the outbreak continue to rise, and
the situation has become further complicated by concomitant reports of
cases of typhoid and _Shigella dysenteriae_ type 1.
Isolation wards have been established in the area with the ongoing support
of a field team from Medecins Sans Frontieres (Belgium) [MSF]. Additional
isolation wards are also being established in 3 district hospitals.
Epicentre has deployed an epidemiologist to support the MSF team in the field.
Outbreak response field teams are being strengthened, and operational bases
have been reinforced and established in 3 towns in the affected area. A
central logistics platform is being finalized to provide support to local
field communications, to put in place field accommodation facilities and to
ensure basic living conditions. The United Nations Department of
Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) is
providing additional logistics support.
Epidemiologists, virologists, laboratory experts, and logisticians from the
MoH, WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) are in the field. Laboratory
equipment and outbreak response materials are also being delivered by air
with the assistance of MONUC, MSF-chartered flights, and by Interchurch
Medical Assistance (IMA World Health), an international non-governmental
MONUC has also assisted WHO in deploying vehicles and other outbreak
related response equipment from its Outbreak Logistics Mobility Unit in
Dubai. Further shipments of Personal Protective Equipment and specialist
communications equipment including satellite phones and radios are also
being sent to the country.
Social mobilization activities are being implemented by national field
teams with the support of the national Red Cross, the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and UNICEF. A medical
anthropologist has been identified by the Centre National de Recherche
Scientifique, Paris to work with the social mobilization teams to develop
culturally appropriate information concerning Ebola and to ensure the
population is provided with information to reduce the risk of transmission
of the disease.
Experts in infection control from the Swiss Agency for Development and
Cooperation, the Hopital Cantonal in Geneva, and WHO Headquarters are being
deployed to strengthen infection control in the affected area. Precautions
are also being put in place in health care settings in areas beyond the
outbreak zone to reduce the risk of any amplification of the outbreak.
Other partners from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network are also
providing support to the MoH, including the African Field Epidemiology
Network, the Bernard Nocht Institute, the Centre International de
Recherches Medicales de Franceville, the European Centre for Disease
Control, the Institute Pasteur, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine, the National University of Singapore, the Swedish Institute for
Infectious Disease Control, Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public
Health Interventions Network Inc. and Tulane University School of Public
Health and Tropical Medicine, USA.
The WHO Country Office in Kinshasa has been strengthened to provide support
to the MoH in responding to external requests for information on this outbreak.
ProMED-mail rapporteur Marianne Hopp
[A clear statement of the extent of the Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreak
in the Democratic Republic of Congo is still lacking. The most recent
information seems to be that contained in the introduction to the BBC News
website "Diary from DR Congo's Ebola frontline"
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7001506.stm> from Wed 19 Sep 2007,
in which Zoe Young of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) shares her diary with
the BBC News website from the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is stated
that, since the 1st MSF team arrived in Kampungu at the beginning of
September 2007, 25 severe cases suspected to be Ebola haemorrhagic fever
have been hospitalised at Kampungu's health centre. Of these, 8 patients
have already died.
Further information is awaited. A map of the Democratic Republic of the
Congo can be accessed at
<http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa/congo_demrep_pol98.jpg>. Kampungu is
located in the Kasai Occidentale Province of the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. - Mod.CP]