The Ministry of Health conducted epidemiological studies from December 2002 to mid-January 2003 in health zones and medical institutions in Kinshasa. Fourteen medical institutions reported 3 963 influenza cases including 126 deaths (case-fatality rate of 3.2%) and 33 health zones reported 27 211 cases including 170 deaths (case-fatality rate of 0.6%). The differences in the case-fatality rates can be explained by differences in health and nutritional status and access to health care services. Children under 5 years of age were the most affected.
The epidemiology of this outbreak is still not completely understood as limited resources have impeded a more thorough investigation. However, Epicentre/Médecins sans Frontières, France have recently initiated more comprehensive data collection and analysis.