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Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2005 Sep;98(3):218-23.

[Clinical management of patients and deceased during the Ebola outbreak from October to December 2003 in Republic of Congo].

[Article in French]

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(Ministère de la santé et de la population, Brazzaville, Congo.


Outbreaks of Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever (EVHF) have been reported since 2001 in the Cuvette Ouest department, a forested area located in the Western North of Congo. At the end of October 2003 a new alarm came from this department which was quickly confirmed as being an epidemic of EVHF. The outbreak response was organized by the ministry of health with the assistance of an international team under the aegis of WHO. The case management of suspect cases was done in an isolation ward set up at the hospital; when patients refused to go to the ward for care they were isolated in their house according to a protocol "transmission risks reduction at home". Safe burials were performed by specialized teams which respected the major aspects of the funeral to allow the process of mourning of the families. An active surveillance system was set up in order to organize the detection of new cases and the follow-up of their contacts. A case definition was adopted. From October 11 to December 2, 2003, 35 cases including 29 deaths were reported, 16 cases were laboratory confirmed. The first four cases had been exposed to monkey meat (Cercopithecus nictitans). The epidemic spread was due to family transmission. The population interpretation of the disease, in particular questions around wizards and evil-minded persons, is a factor which must be taken into account by the medical teams during communication meetings for behavioral change of the populations. The case management of patient in isolation wards to prevent the transmission of the virus in the community remains the most effective means to dam up Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever outbreaks. The good perception by the community of the safe funerary procedures is an important aspect in the establishment of confidence relations with the local population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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