Location: Mangina area, North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the North Eastern part Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Event: U.S. Embassy Kampala is monitoring a new outbreak of Ebola virus that has been announced by the Ministry of Health of Democratic Republic of Congo.
The current Ebola outbreak area includes the Mangina area, North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the North Eastern part of the country. Mangina is a town about 30km west of the city of Beni in the DRC and 100km from the DRC’s border with Uganda. At this stage, there is no indication that this outbreak is related to the recent epidemic in the Equateur Province in the far North Western part of the country.
The DRC government is swiftly putting robust response systems in place to contain the outbreak with the support of relevant stakeholders such as WHO, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and U.S. government health agencies (USAID, CDC, DOD). Response systems include heightened surveillance, deployment of mobile laboratories and the potential use of an investigational vaccine. Despite many challenges on the ground, the DRC recently responded successfully to an outbreak of Ebola. Trained personnel and leftover supplies are being deployed to respond to this new outbreak.
Uganda maintains enhanced surveillance and has response systems in place to deal comprehensively with Ebola. The airports and border posts are conducting relevant entry screening. The National Task Force has been activated and rapid response teams have traveled to districts closest to the affected provinces in DRC. Key activities include public health risk mapping to assess movement patterns, enhanced surveillance, screening, and hand washing at points of entry in high-risk districts, alerting other districts about the need for enhanced surveillance, and assessing preparedness in high-risk districts.
Definition and Mode of transmission
The Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) is a rare and deadly disease. It is spread by direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person infected with Ebola virus. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects or infected animals.
These include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
Who is at risk?
A person could become infected if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids. Health care workers caring for patients with Ebola and family and friends caring for an infected person are at highest risk.
General preventive measures against Ebola
There is no approved or widely available vaccine or specific treatment for Ebola, and many people who get the disease die. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent Ebola.
- Avoid contact with other people’s blood or body fluids.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with a person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
- Avoid contact with wild animals or with raw bush meat.
- Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling a dead body.
- Travelers returning from affected areas of Democratic Republic of the Congo should self-monitor for 21 days after return and communicate ahead before presenting to any medical facility if they become ill.
Actions to Take:
- Review the State Department’s travel website for Country Specific Information for Uganda.
- Visit CDC’s Travelers’ Health Page and CDC’s page regarding Ebola.
- Monitor local media for updates.
- See the State Department’s travel website for Country Specific Information for Uganda
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, located at Plot 1577 Ggaba Road, Nsambya, the Consular Section at tel. +256-414-30-6800 from Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +256-414-30-6001.
- Follow the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.