Infectious Disease

DRC responds to Ebola resurgence in area where large outbreak occurred

August 23, 2022

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Moeti reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo has declared a resurgence of Ebola virus after confirming that a case in North Kivu province was linked to a previous outbreak.

An analysis of samples from a 46-year-old woman who died on Aug. 15 in Beni after exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms showed that the case was genetically linked to the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak in North Kivu — the longest and largest in the country’s history and the second largest Ebola outbreak on record, which left 3,463 infected and 2,280 dead.

IDN0822EbolaResurgence_Graphic_01_WEB

WHO.

To date, 160 contacts of the woman have been identified and are being closely monitored, WHO said Tuesday. The country has stockpiled 1,000 doses of Merck’s Ebola vaccine and is sending 200 doses to Beni this week to begin ring-vaccination efforts, according to WHO.

“Ebola resurgences are occurring with greater frequency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is concerning,” Matshidiso Moeti, MD, MPH, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, said in a press release. “However, health authorities in North Kivu have successfully stopped several Ebola flare-ups and building on this expertise will no doubt bring this one under control quickly.”

Matshidiso Moeti

The last resurgence in North Kivu ended after 2 months last December. In total, 11 cases and six deaths were reported in that outbreak. At the time, officials credited the short life of the outbreak to a quick response and the vaccination of more than 1,800 people.

“Stronger disease surveillance, community engagement, targeted vaccination and prompt response are making for more effective Ebola containment in the region,” Moeti said at the time.

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