Public Health Authority implements monitoring measures amidst Ebola outbreak

Following notification of two confirmed cases of Ebola virus, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by the Ministry of Health of DRC on Tuesday 8th May 2018, the Public Health Authority of Seychelles is setting up proactive measures locally in line with the 2014 Ebola Response plan. Several monitoring measures are being implemented at ports of entry, including at airport and sea ports.

These including screening of all passengers who have travelled to the DRC within the 21 days of arriving to Seychelles and placement under passive surveillance. Additionally, the Public Health Authority is advising the public to refrain from travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo unless absolutely necessary and to contact the Communicable Disease Control Unit (CDCU) before travel to the Congos.

A total of 21 people believe to have the Ebola were reported from the Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province of DRC. From this, there has been 17 deaths. The patients presented with several symptoms similar to that of the illness, including fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, muscle pain and joint pain, and some also showed haemorrhagic (bleeding) symptoms and signs.

Over the past forty years, the DRC has experienced eight Ebola outbreaks. The last epidemic took place in May 2017 in the zone of Likati, Province of Bas-Uele. The ongoing epidemic is located in the Bikoro Health Zone, located in Equateur Province, in western Democratic Republic of the Congo and on the border with the Republic of the Congo. This is the fourth time that an Ebola outbreak has been reported in this province, after those of 1976, 1977 and 2014.