ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, 23 August 2022 – On 17 August 2022, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported a confirmed case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Beni district of North Kivu province. This case was confirmed six weeks after the most recent EVD outbreak in Equateur province was declared over on 4 July 2022. It is the third EVD outbreak declared in the North Kivu province since 2018. Results from genome sequencing revealed that the current outbreak is linked to the 2018 – 2020 EVD outbreak that occurred in the North Kivu province of DRC and may not represent any new spillover event.
The patient was a 46-year-old female who presented with a persistent cough, headache, polyarthralgia and intense fatigue to the Beni General Reference Hospital on 23 July 2022. She was admitted to the hospital the same day, and following a 23-day hospitalisation, the patient died on 15 August 2022 due to multiple organ failure.
A post-mortem oropharyngeal sample collected from the patient on the same day tested positive for EVD at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) Beni mobile laboratory using the Cepheid Xpert Ebola assay. On 16 August 2022, second-level confirmation of the sample was done at the Rodolphe Mérieux INRB-Goma laboratory using the polymerase chain reaction.
On August 17, 2022, the MoH listed 131 contacts, including 60 front-line healthcare workers and 71 co-patients. Of 60 exposed health care workers, 59 are vaccinated against EVD. The vaccination status of the index case and 71 co-patients is not yet known.
Africa CDC continues to monitor the situation of EVD in the DRC while supporting the strengthening of surveillance systems in DRC and bordering countries. EVD remains a public health emergency in DRC and a high-risk pathogen for neighbouring countries.
Africa CDC recommends that African Union Member State should remain vigilant. In doing this, they are advised to:
- Enhance cross-border surveillance efforts by:
- Mapping population movements to identify all potential crossing points where there is risk of disease spread
- Setting up screening posts and conducting health screenings for all travellers to detect signs and symptoms of EVD (e.g. fever, rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, and haemorrhage)
- Sharing health information for EVD at borders.
- Integrate EVD surveillance into the existing surveillance strategies at community and health facility levels.
- Perform contact tracing and follow up of all probable and confirmed EVD cases.
- Enhance IPC measures in health care settings and affected communities.
- Notify and routinely share data regarding confirmed EVD cases, deaths, recoveries, tests conducted and healthcare workers infected with Africa CDC to inform these and other updates. Notify Africa CDC by emailing: AfricaCDCEBS@africa-union.org .
- Provide information to the general public about seeking immediate medical care for those who develop symptoms similar to EVD.
AFRICA CDC RESPONSE EFFORTS
- The Africa CDC Emergency Operations Centre remains in alert mode and is closely monitoring the situation in DRC.
- The Africa CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Division engaged the MoH and is planning a rapid needs assessment to identify areas of potential support.
About the Africa CDC
The Africa CDC’s mission is to strengthen Africa’s public health institution’s capacities, capabilities and partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks based on science, policy, and data-driven interventions and programmes. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org
About the African Union
The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision: to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable, efficient and responsive Commission. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en/