October 2021 Democratic Republic of the Congo, North Kivu Province
On October 8, 2021 the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Beni Health Zone, North Kivu Province. Subsequent cases were confirmed in the same health zone and three probable cases were retrospectively identified from September 2021. Beni, one of the epicenters of the 2018-2020 EVD outbreak in DRC, is not far from Butembo City, the site of two recent EVD outbreaks, one in 2018 and another earlier in 2021.
Sequencing data from the first confirmed case in this outbreak showed a link to the 2018-2020 outbreak in the same region. This link suggests that this outbreak was likely caused by a persistent infection in an EVD survivor that led to either a relapse or sexual transmission of the virus.
During this outbreak, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) made the recommendationexternal icon that during an Ebola outbreak, all contacts and contacts of contacts should receive rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP unless they were vaccinated within the preceding six months.
This outbreak, the 13th EVD outbreak in DRC, was declared officially over on December 16, 2021, 42 days after the last confirmed case of EVD was released from the Ebola treatment unit after testing negative twice for Ebola.