Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of Congo

Updated: August 09, 2018


Original publication date: May 9, 2018

Current situation

On August 1, 2018, a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) was reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Cases of EVD have been reported from North Kivu and Ituri provinces, located in the north-eastern part of the country. For the most recent case counts, please see the World Health Organization's Ebola situation reports. The WHO and other partners are working with the Ministry of Health in the DRC to control the current outbreak.

The risk of this outbreak spreading to other parts of the DRC is high.

The risk of this outbreak spreading to other countries in the central African region is high. Both North Kivu and Ituri provinces share a border with Uganda. This increases the risk of cases occurring in Uganda and surrounding countries, specifically Tanzania and Burundi.

The World Health Organization considers the risk of global spread to be low.

The last outbreak of EVD in the DRC was in May 2018 in the north-western province of Equator. That outbreak was declared over on July 24, 2018.

There is currently no licensed vaccine or treatment to prevent or treat EVD. However, there is an investigational Ebola virus vaccine available for outbreak control. See the Government of Canada's Update on the Outbreak of EVD in the DRC for more information.

About Ebola virus disease

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe and often fatal viral disease. It is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals. It can also spread from person to person through contact with:

Symptoms of EVD include rash, chills, fever, headache, sore throat, muscle pain and weakness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It can then become more severe, with some people experiencing severe bleeding (hemorrhaging), loss of consciousness and death. Symptoms can begin 2 to 21 days after exposure.

Preventing Ebola virus disease

Before your trip

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel. Make sure your routine vaccines are up to date.

During your trip

You should not travel if you know you have been exposed to or experience symptoms of EVD. You should seek medical care immediately.

After your trip

Be aware of the symptoms of EVD and monitor your health.

If you notice symptoms of EVD during the flight, tell the flight attendant before you land or the border services officer as you enter the country. They will notify a quarantine officer who will assess your symptoms.

If you develop symptoms of EVD within 21 days of your return, call your appropriate public health authority immediately. Describe your symptoms over the phone, tell them where you have been travelling or living and mention any known exposure risks. They will make appropriate arrangements for your medical assessment. Follow the instructions provided to you by your public health authority.

Humanitarian aid workers should follow the guidance provided to them by their organization.

Travellers with no known exposure to EVD are not required to tell a border service agent that they have visited an EVD-affected area.

Travellers who are at low risk of exposure to EVD should:

Travellers who are at high risk of exposure to EVD:

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.

Information for health care professionals

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