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Monday, June 14th, 2021

Recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo officially declared over, according to WHO


The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the most-recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has officially concluded after
42 days.

According to WHO, the 42-day mark represents two incubation cycles of the virus after the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected area tested negative for the disease for a second time. The organization also noted that enhanced surveillance will continue and preparedness and readiness activities in the affected area will be strengthened.

The first case of the most-recent outbreak appeared on April 22. In total, four people died from the disease and four people survived, with 583 contacts registered and closely monitored throughout the outbreak period.

“With the end of this epidemic, DRC has once again proved to the world that we can control the very deadly Ebola virus if we respond early in a coordinated and efficient way,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

WHO said the effective response to the latest outbreak was attributed to a timely alert by local authorities of suspect cases, the immediate testing of blood samples due to strengthened national laboratory capacity, rapid response activities by local and national health authorities, and speedy access to flexible funding.

This was the ninth such EVD outbreak to appear in the DRC since 1976.

Three years ago, an outbreak caused a total of 66 infections and 49 deaths in the country’s Equator Province. In 2012, 36 cases of EVD were reported, which caused 13 deaths in the DRC’s Orientale Province. A total of 32 cases appeared between 2008-2009, causing an estimated 15 deaths in Kasai. More severely, a 2007 outbreak caused 264 cases of EVD, resulting in 187 deaths.