Ebola Outbreak in Congo

*The following information was adapted from CDC’s DSLR Friday Update on May 25, 2018*

On May 8, the Ministry of Public Health (MoHP) of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province, in Northwest DRC. The current outbreak is in a remote, forested area of DRC, which makes it difficult to access the region. Number of cases reported have been changing, but according to WHO, as of May 21, there have been 58 reported cases and 27 deaths. The World Health Organization determined that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have currently not been met and that there should be no international travel or trade restrictions associated with the outbreak response.

What local health departments need to know

CDC advises healthcare providers in the United States to continue to obtain a travel history from all patients seeking care. Providers should promptly isolate patients that have symptoms compatible with EVD and a recent (within 21 days) history of travel to the affected areas in the Equateur Province of DRC, pending diagnostic testing. Providers should also consider other infectious disease risks that are much more common in returning travelers, including malaria. 

Federal Support

HHS Secretary Alex Azar declared the US will provide a total of $8 million to help respond to the outbreak of EVD in the DRC. CDC has deployed and will continue to deploy disease detectives and other experts to assist during this outbreak. 

For more information about Ebola, please visit CDC’s Ebola virus disease website at https://www.cdc.gov/ebola.

About Katie Dwyer

Katie Schemm Dwyer is a Director in NACCHO's Preparedness Division. Her work focuses on supporting local health departments strengthen public health preparedness systems through governance, coordination and liaison with federal preparedness organizations, policy, and program management.

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