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Avian Influenza in DR Congo

Overview of the avian influenza

The DRC is located in the line of migration of wild birds coming from Asia and Europe, especially in the Rift Valley. These migrations can cause gatherings of varied species of birds likely to support contact between sedentary or domestic wild animals and wild birds. The inventory of birds raises 1,094 species of wild birds, including 23 who are endemic. In DRC, there are several parks and reserves which constitute sites of predilection for the migratory birds. No case of avian flu was diagnosed last year in DRC. Since 2000, with the appropriateness of eradication program of the poliomyelitis, the country set up an integrated monitoring system which allows regular notification of the potential epidemic.

Surveillance strategies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

  • Strengthening  multi-sector coordination
  • Strengthening monitoring for both Human and Animal influenza
  • Strengthening diagnosis capacity for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
  • Strengthening capacity measures for response to the disease
  • Support communication and  research

Main influenza activities of CDC in DRC

In 2009, the National Influenza Center of the DRC analyzed by real-time PCR (RT-PCR) 1,583 potentially infected samples, of which 342 samples were positive for H1N1.  August-December 2009 constituted the pandemic period in DRC, and during this time the National Influenza Center received and analyzed 966 samples, 290 of which were positive for H1N1. The US Embassy in Kinshasa is closely following this epidemic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based in DRC supported the DRC MOH through financial and technical assistance.

Next steps

The Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN) continues to monitor the global circulation of influenza viruses, including pandemic, seasonal and other infecting influenza viruses.