The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Mbandaka, Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This is a different area from the large outbreak that has been ongoing in the east of the country since 2018.
On 18 May 2020, a 27-year-old woman died in hospital in Wangata, a commune of the city of Mbandaka. Three other people from the same community in the Air Congo Quarter of Wangata became ill and died of a similar disease in the following days. The last death occurred on 30 May 2020, with this patient testing positive for EVD. A health worker and his wife were subsequently admitted to hospital with symptoms of EVD and they have also tested positive.
As of 1 June 2020, there have been six reported cases of EVD, three confirmed and three probable, including four deaths. Two patients remain in hospital.
Advice to travellers
When EVD outbreaks occur, generally the risk of travellers becoming infected or developing the disease is extremely low.
Travellers returning from an Ebola outbreak area should seek rapid medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, diarrhoea or general malaise, within 21 days after return. They should call NHS24 (Scotland) or NHS111 (England and Wales) or contact their GP by telephone. While EVD is unlikely, the returning traveller should mention any potential exposure to the virus, including dates and itinerary of travel.
Further information and advice is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 2 June 2020