Interventions to Control Virus Transmission during an Outbreak of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever: Experience from Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1995

  • Kerstiëns B
  • Matthys F
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Abstract

On 6 May 1995, the Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) coordinator in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), received a request for assistance for what was believed to be a concurrent outbreak of bacillary dysentery and viral hemorrhagic fever (suspected Ebola hemorrhagic fever [EHF]) in the town of Kikwit, DRC. On 11 May, the MSF intervention team assessed Kikwit General Hospital. This initial assessment revealed a nonfunctional isolation ward for suspected EHF cases; a lack of water and electricity; no waste disposal system; and no protective gear for medical staff. The priorities set by MSF were to establish a functional isolation ward to deal with EHF and to distribute protective supplies to individuals who were involved with patient care. Before the intervention, 67 health workers contracted EHF; after the initiation of control measures, just 3 cases were reported among health staff and none among Red Cross volunteers involved in body burial.

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Authors

  • Barbara Kerstiëns

  • Francine Matthys

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