Date: Fri 31 Aug 2018
Source: Business Insider [edited]
<http://uk.businessinsider.com/r-congo-republic-says-to-launch-vaccination-drive-after-yellow-fever-outbreak-2018-8>

Congo Republic will launch a country-wide vaccination campaign to control an outbreak of yellow fever near the border with the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, the health ministry said on Friday [31 Aug 2018].

Earlier this week, the authorities said over 180 suspected cases and one confirmed case of the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne virus had been identified this year [2018], many in the western commercial hub of Pointe Noire.

"Congo (Republic) declared a yellow fever epidemic at Pointe Noire on 24 Aug [2018]," the ministry said in a statement.

In response, it said: "The Health and Population Ministry will organize, in collaboration with partners, a national vaccination campaign." It did not specify when the campaign would begin. The vaccinations will be free of charge. Only children under 9 months, pregnant women and mothers breastfeeding infants under 6 months will not be vaccinated, the statement added.

No deaths have yet been reported in the outbreak.

The disease causes fever, body aches and nausea and can quickly spread in areas with large unvaccinated populations.

A major outbreak in 2016 in Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo killed more than 400 people and was believed to have infected thousands more before it was brought under control through an extensive vaccination campaign.  [Byline: Alessandra Prentice]
======================
[The case numbers and locations are essentially the same as reported in the earlier ProMED-mail post, with no increase in the numbers of suspected cases. A country-wide vaccination campaign is planned in response to these cases. As noted in previous posts, this outbreak is fairly widely distributed geographically across 5 health districts. The dates on which these suspected cases were diagnosed are not given, so we do not have a picture of the timeframe of this outbreak. None of these cases resulted in deaths.

It is difficult to assess the risk of an ongoing outbreak without knowing the proportion of the unvaccinated population in the areas where the cases occurred. One hopes that the planned vigorous vaccination campaign will be initiated as soon as possible. Yellow fever outbreaks can quickly get out of hand, as occurred in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016-2017. - ProMED Mod.TY]

[HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
Republic of Congo: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/166>]
Date: Tue 28 Aug 2018
Source: Reuters [edited]
<https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-yellowfever-congorepublic/congo-republic-confirms-yellow-fever-near-angolan-enclave-idUSKCN1LD1KN>

Congo Republic has confirmed a case of yellow fever near the border with an Angolan enclave, the health ministry said on Tuesday [28 Aug 2018], and has warned of "an emerging event of epidemic proportions."

In all, 186 suspected cases have been detected this year [2018], many of which were in the western commercial hub of Pointe Noire, the head of the government's epidemics unit, Lambert Kitembo told Reuters.

He said 8 blood samples were sent to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for testing last month [July 2018], one of which came back positive. It was then officially confirmed last week at a laboratory in Senegal.

The sometimes deadly mosquito-borne virus causes fever, body aches and nausea and can quickly spread in areas with large unvaccinated populations.

A major outbreak in 2016 in Angola and the DRC killed more than 400 people and was believed to have infected thousands more before it was brought under control through an extensive vaccination campaign.

The confirmed victim in the case of yellow fever in Congo Republic had traveled in Tchiamba Nzassi district, which lies along the border with the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, 2 weeks prior to the onset of his symptoms, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a weekly report.

No deaths have been reported, but the situation is being taken seriously by health officials, Kitembo said. He did not say whether authorities had plans to test other blood samples.

"Congo, in general, and the departments of Pointe Noire and Koulou in particular are experiencing since the start of 2018 an emerging event of epidemic proportions," the health ministry said in a statement dated last week.

The WHO said that the confirmed case was detected early last month [July 2018] at a health centre in Pointe Noire, where the patient with fever and jaundice was admitted for treatment.
======================
[The number of suspected cases has gone up from 70 yesterday [27 Aug 2018] to 186 mentioned above. There is now one laboratory confirmation. As noted in the previous post, this outbreak is fairly widely distributed geographically across 5 health districts. The dates on which these suspected cases were diagnosed are not given, so we do not have a picture of the time frame of this outbreak. None of these cases resulted in deaths.

It is difficult to assess the risk of an ongoing outbreak without knowing the proportion of the unvaccinated population in the areas where the cases occurred. One hopes that a vigorous vaccination campaign will be initiated as soon as possible. Yellow fever outbreaks can quickly get out of hand, as occurred in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016-2017. - ProMED Mod.TY]

[HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
Republic of Congo: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/166>]
Date: Mon 27 Aug 2018
Source: APA News [edited]
<http://apanews.net/en/news/yellow-fever-outbreak-reported-in-southern-congo>

As many as 70 suspected cases of yellow fever have been reported in southern Congo, the Congolese Ministry of Health and Population announced Monday [27 Aug 2018] in a statement. Among the prevention measures is vaccination against yellow fever for all travellers entering or leaving the country, the statement added.

"These 70 cases of yellow fever were reported in the health districts of Mongo-Pokou, Lumumba, Mvou-Mvou, Ngoyo and Tsama-Dzassi, a border district with the Republic of Angola in the departments of Kouilou and Pointe-Noire," according to the statement signed by the Minister of Health and Population, Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo. "We invite the Congolese population and our development partners to get involved in the fight against yellow fever, which is a deadly disease," the Minister said. [Byline: Leon Charles Moukouri]
=======================
[This outbreak is fairly widely distributed geographically across 5 health districts. The dates on which these cases were diagnosed are not given, so we do not have a picture of the timeframe of this outbreak. There no an indication of whether any of these 70 cases resulted in deaths. It is difficult to assess the risk of an ongoing outbreak without knowing the proportion of the unvaccinated population in the areas where the cases occurred.

One hopes that a vigorous vaccination campaign will be initiated as soon as possible. Yellow fever outbreaks can quickly get out of hand, as occurred in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016-2017. - ProMED Mod.TY]
 
[HealthMap/ProMED map available at: Republic of Congo:
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/166>]
Date: Mon 3 Apr 2017
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]
<http://outbreaknewstoday.com/congo-monkeypox-continues-6-additional-cases-reported-56109/>

The monkeypox outbreak declared by the government of the Republic of the Congo on 13 Mar 2017 remains active. During reporting week 13 (week ending 31 Mar 2017), 6 new cases were reported from 3 districts, distributed equally (2 cases each) among Betou, Dongou and Impfondo. As of 28 Mar 2017, a cumulative total of 26 suspected cases including 4 deaths (case fatality rate of 15 percent) has been reported since onset of the outbreak on 21 Jan 2017. The outbreak has so far been localized to Likouala province, where 4 districts have been affected: Betou (6 cases, no death), Dongou (13 cases, 2 deaths), Enyelle (4 cases and 1 death) and Impfondo (3 cases, 1 death).

The index case in this outbreak was found to have originated from Manfouété town, Dongou district. Manfouété is an isolated town with a limited communication network (telephones and internet access), road transport, lack of electricity, inadequate numbers of trained health workers, and low health service coverage. In addition, the high population movement between Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic, including influx of refugees from these countries and others like Chad, poses a high risk of propagation of the outbreak to other provinces of Congo and the neighbouring countries.

According to the CDC, the symptoms of monkeypox are as follows: About 12 days after people are infected with the virus, they will get a fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell; and they will feel tired. One to 3 days (or longer) after the fever starts, they will get a rash. This rash develops into raised bumps filled with fluid and often starts on the face and spreads, but it can start on other parts of the body too. The bumps go through several stages before they get crusty, scab over, and fall off. The illness usually lasts for 2-4 weeks. Rodents such as rope squirrels, door mice and pouched rats are the suspected reservoir hosts, with monkeys and humans as secondary, spill-over hosts.

People at risk for monkeypox are those who get bitten by an infected animal or who have contact with the animal's rash, blood or body fluids. It can also be transmitted person to person through respiratory or direct contact and contact with contaminated bedding or clothing. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox.
====================
[Although described as a single outbreak, the cases are occurring in 4 districts in Likouala province, located in the far northeast part of the country. The above report provides no evidence of human-to-human transmission, which is rare and cannot be sustained. The risk of infected people spreading the virus to neighbouring countries does not seem high.

This situation makes one wonder whether there is an increased incidence of monkeypox virus infection in rodent reservoirs with spill-over to humans. Occurrence of sporadic cases is not surprising because monkeypox virus is endemic in the Republic of the Congo, the DR Congo, and human cases occur sporadically there as well in the Central African Republic.

As noted in previous ProMED-mail posts, the monkeypox virus clade in the Congo Basin causes more severe disease in humans, with a case fatality rate of 11-17 percent, than the clade in Ghana, which causes few fatalities. The virus is seldom transmitted directly from one person to another, but there is a documented instance of that in the Republic of the Congo.

Monkeys are not the reservoirs of the virus, despite the name that the virus has received. Although not determined, the main reservoirs of monkeypox are suspected to be rodents, including rope squirrels (_Funisciurus_ sp; an arboreal rodent) and terrestrial rodents in the genera _Cricetomys_ and _Graphiurus_. - ProMED Mod.TY]

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/166>.]
Date: Wed 15 Mar 2017
Source: NAN [edited]
<http://www.nan.ng/news/monkey-smallpox-hits-congo/>

Three people have died out of 20 cases of monkey smallpox in northern Congo, a statement by the Congolese Ministry of Health and Population in Brazzaville warned.

According to the statement, the epidemic had already surfaced in the same area back in 2003.

Monkey pox is characterized by button-like boils filled with liquid spread all over the body, including the scalp.

It is transmitted through contact with a sick animal but also from a sick human to a healthy person.

There is currently no vaccine against the disease, APA said.

Faced with this epidemic, the government has officially declared monkey pox as an epidemic in Congo to avoid any risk of it spreading and calls on its financial partners to help tackle the disease.
====================
[Monkeypox virus is endemic in the Republic of the Congo, and human cases occur sporadically there as well in DR Congo and the Central African Republic.

The monkeypox virus clade in the Congo Basin causes more severe disease in humans, with a case fatality rate of 11-17 percent, than the clade in Ghana, which causes few fatalities. The virus is seldom transmitted directly from one person to another, but there is a documented instance of that in the Republic of the Congo. Monkeys are not the reservoirs of the virus, despite the name that the virus has received. Although not determined, the main reservoirs of monkeypox are suspected to be rodents, including rope squirrels (_Funisciurus_ sp; an arboreal rodent) and terrestrial rodents in the genera _Cricetomys_ and _Graphiurus_. - ProMED Mod.TY]

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/166>.]
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