DR Congo Declares Ebola outbreak over

BRAZZAVILLE/KINSHASA – The Democratic Republic of the Congo today declared the end of the Ebola outbreak that erupted less than three months ago in Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province in the northwest. 

It was the third outbreak in the province since 2018 and the country’s 14th overall.

During the outbreak that was declared on April 23, four confirmed cases and one probable case were confirmed and all of them died, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

The death toll is much less than the figure recorded in the previous outbreak in Equateur Province that lasted from June to November 2020, during which DRC reported 130 confirmed cases and 55 deaths.

“Thanks to the robust response by the national authorities, this outbreak has been brought to an end swiftly with limited transmission of the virus,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. 

DR Congo with the support from its partners, mounted a swift response soon after the outbreak was declared, rolling out key countermeasures including testing, contact tracing, infection prevention, and control, as well as vaccination.

“Crucial lessons have been learned from past outbreaks and they have been applied to devise and deploy an ever more effective Ebola response,” said Dr Moeti.

Although the outbreak in Mbandaka has been declared over, the UN health agency said health authorities are maintaining surveillance and are ready to respond quickly to any flare-ups as “its not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following an outbreak”.

DR Congo has now recorded 14 Ebola outbreaks since 1976, six of which have occurred since 2018.

By ethionegari@gmail.com

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