Update on Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreaks: Uganda and DR Congo
As of 4th October the Ministry of Health in Uganda has declared the end of the Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreak in the Kibaale district. The last case was confirmed on 3rd August and was discharged from hospital on 24th August. This is double the maximum incubation period (21 days) for Ebola as recommended by WHO. During the outbreak, a total of 24 cases (11 laboratory confirmed and 13 probable) were recorded, including 17 deaths.
The most recent figures (24th September) from the Ministry of Health in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) show that a total of 51 (19 confirmed and 32 probable) cases, including 20 deaths, have been reported in Province Orientale. An additional 28 suspected cases have been reported and are being investigated. Control activities are ongoing and include active case finding and contact tracing, enhanced surveillance, case management, public information and social mobilization and reinforcing infection control practices.
Since 1976 DRC has experienced several outbreaks of Ebola virus while there have been two outbreaks of Ebola virus in the past in Uganda. Through these, DRC and Uganda have developed experience in dealing with such outbreaks, with the support of the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and specialised non-governmental organisations.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published rapid risk assessments of the outbreaks in both Uganda and DRC. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that travellers infected in DRC could arrive in the EU while incubating the disease and develop symptoms while in the EU. However, such cases should seek medical attention and be isolated, therefore preventing further transmission. EU citizens in DRC are not at risk of becoming infected unless they are in direct contact with bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. Avoiding such contact would effectively mitigate this risk.
The ECDC rapid risk assessment on the outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Uganda is available to read here and the latest update from WHO is available here
The ECDC rapid risk assessment on the outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in DRC is available to read here and the latest update from WHO is available here