Outbreak Brief 1: Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo

15 October 2021

Outbreak Update: On 8 October 2021, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ministry of Public Health, Hygiene, and Prevention (MoH) reported a confirmed death of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Beni health zone, North Kivu province. This outbreak comes barely five months after the end of the most recent outbreak that was detected in the same province.
The index case was a 3-year-old male, who died on 6 October in a local health facility after presenting with hemorrhagic symptoms. Samples collected on 7 October 2021, tested positive for Ebola virus at the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Beni. The diagnosis was later confirmed in the Goma reference laboratory by RT-PCR on 8 October.
This follows a cluster of three deaths (two female children and their father) who were neighbors of the index case. These individuals died on 14, 19 and 29 September after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola (see Figure 1 for symptom onset dates); however, none of these individuals were tested for EVD.
A second case was confirmed on 13 October. This was a 42-year-old female, who was a known contact to both the confirmed and probable cases prior to their death. This second case was an aunt of the first confirmed case and care giver to probable cases. She developed symptoms of fatigue on 6 October, which worsened to vomiting and bloody diarrhea on 13 October. Local health authorities were alerted and the patient was admitted to the regional hospital in Beni for supportive care, where she later died on 14 October.
Cumulatively, five cases (2 confirmed and 3 probable) and five deaths (2 confirmed and 3 probable) of EVD have been reported from Butsili, Beni health zone in DRC. The case fatality ratio of both confirmed and probable cases for this outbreak is 100%. Genomic sequencing is currently ongoing; preliminary results show that the index case was linked to the 2018 -2020 outbreak.