Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following laboratory confirmation of two cases of Ebola in Bikiro on 8 May; the government and the WHO have already begun rapid response activities.
On 8 May the DRC Ministry of Health informed WHO that two out of five samples collected from five patients tested at the the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa were positive for Ebolavirus. More specimens are currently being collected. All initial cases were reported from iIkoko Iponge health facility located about 30km from Bikoro in Equateur Province.
As of 15 May, the WHO had reported a total of 44 Ebola virus disease cases: 3 confirmed, 20 probable, and 21 suspected. However, on May 17 there was concern as an Ebola case was confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of nearly 1.2 million people in Equateur Province and over 150km from Bikoro.