According to the WHO, a 31-year-old man from Mbandaka who had been vaccinated against Ebola was confirmed to be infected with Ebola; the man died on 21.4.2022. The source of infection is not known. The virus of this outbreak appears to be different from that of previous outbreaks in this province (2018 and 2020). A second Ebola case, a close patient contact, was confirmed on 25.4.2022.
Ebola is a viral, haemorrhagic, very severe or fatal disease. It is transmitted through direct contact with body fluids and excretions of an infected person (blood, saliva, vomit, stool, sweat, semen, urine, etc.) or with infected animals (especially monkeys, antelopes, rodents, bats). The symptoms are sudden high fever, muscle pain, fatigue, sore throat or headache, followed by diarrhoea, vomiting and internal and external bleeding. Early hospitalisation with supportive care (hydration, maintenance of normal blood pressure) can improve the prognosis.
Travelers are usually at low risk of contracting Ebola if you follow these precautions:
- Avoid contact with infected/deceased persons or their body fluids, and all wild animals, alive and dead.
- Avoid handling or eating bush/wild meat.
- Wash and peel fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water (or use a sanitizer if soap is not available).
- Practice safe sex, see LINK.
Vaccination against Ebola is not available to travelers.
For humanitarian missions, it is recommended to consult a travel medicine specialist.
If you have symptoms of illness (fever >38 °C, headache, diarrhea, bleeding symptoms, etc.) during travel until 21 days after being in the affected area: Isolate yourself and immediately contact the in-country hotline by phone or contact a tropical institute or university hospital infectious disease unit. Always state that you may have had an exposure to Ebola.