With 35 confirmed cases of Ebola in Congo, CDC urges providers to keep asking patients for travel history

As the number of confirmed Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo climbs to 35, the CDC is advising U.S. healthcare providers to obtain travel histories from all patients seeking care.

As of May 27, there have been 54 Ebola cases reported (35 confirmed, 13 probable, 6 suspected), including 25 deaths.

After convening an emergency committee meeting May 18, the World Health Organization determined the outbreak did not meet the conditions of a public health emergency of international concern.

But the CDC is urging U.S. providers to promptly isolate patients showing symptoms compatible with Ebola and who have a history of travel to the affected areas in the Equateur Province of Congo within the last 21 days, pending diagnostic testing.

The CDC also suggests providers consider other infectious disease risks frequently found in returning travelers, such as malaria.

Congo's Ministry of Public Health is leading the response to the outbreak with support from the WHO, the CDC and other international partners. The WHO has created a response plan to fight an outbreak, including surveillance, case investigation, contact tracing, case management, safe burials, community engagement, social mobilization and the use of ring vaccination, which vaccinates the contacts of confirmed patients as well as others in close contact with those contacts.

For more information from the CDC about Ebola, click here.

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