Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,1976-2014

Alicia Rosello*, Mathias Mossoko, Stefan Flasche, Albert Jan Van Hoek, Placide Mbala, Anton Camacho, Sebastian Funk, Adam Kucharski, Benoit Kebela Ilunga, W. John Edmunds, Peter Piot, Marc Baguelin, Jean Jacques Muyembe Tamfum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The Democratic Republic of the Congo has experienced the most outbreaks of Ebola virus disease since the virus’ discovery in 1976. This article provides for the first time a description and a line list for all outbreaks in this country, comprising 996 cases. Compared to patients over 15 years old, the odds of dying were significantly lower in patients aged 5 to 15 and higher in children under five (with 100% mortality in those under 2 years old). The odds of dying increased by 11% per day that a patient was not hospitalised. Outbreaks with an initially high reproduction number, R (>3), were rapidly brought under control, whilst outbreaks with a lower initial R caused longer and generally larger outbreaks. These findings can inform the choice of target age groups for interventions and highlight the importance of both reducing the delay between symptom onset and hospitalisation and rapid national and international response.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere09015
Issue numberNOVEMBER2015
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2015


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