EPIC Extra - Ebola Outbreak in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2018

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September 13, 2018

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Ebola Outbreak in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2018

ebola virus

On August 1, 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in North Kivu Province. The current outbreak is located in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. The area is about 780 miles away from Equateur province, where the previous Ebola outbreak was reported in May 2018. Although the ebolavirus species associated with the current outbreak is the same species that caused the earlier outbreak (Zaire ebolavirus), genetic differences between the viruses suggest the two outbreaks are not linked. This is the 10th Ebola outbreak in DRC since the virus was discovered in 1976 in DRC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working closely with DRC’s Ministry of Health and other international partners to support a response plan that provides rapid, localized outbreak control. This includes disease tracking, case investigation, contact tracing, case management, safe and dignified burials, community engagement, social mobilization, and use of ring vaccination with recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-Zaire Ebola virus (rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine). CDC has issued a Level 1 travel notice, advising travelers of the current outbreak in the DRC. For the most current information about this outbreak, including the most up to date number of cases, see WHO’s Ebola situation reports.

Ebola virus disease, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebolavirus species. Ebolaviruses are found in several African countries. The first Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa. Based on evidence and the nature of other similar viruses, researchers believe that Ebola is animal-borne (zoonotic) and that bats are the most likely reservoir.


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