DR Congo declares end to latest Ebola outbreak
The Democratic Republic of Congo declared its latest Ebola outbreak over on Monday, the World Health Organization said, more than two months after the virus re-emerged in the country’s northwest.
Health authorities in the vast central African nation declared an epidemic on April 23 in Mbandaka, in the northwestern Equateur province.
There were four confirmed cases and one probable case — all of whom died, the WHO said on Monday.
The previous outbreak in the forested province, from June to November 2020, claimed 55 lives.
WHO’s regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said in the statement that the authorities reacted rapidly, limiting the spread of Ebola with a vaccination campaign four days after the start of the outbreak.
“Crucial lessons have been learned from past outbreaks and they have been applied to devise and deploy an ever more effective Ebola response”.
Ebola is an often-fatal viral haemorrhagic fever that was first identified in central Africa in 1976. The disease was named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then known as Zaire.
Human transmission is through body fluids, with the main symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea.
The DRC’s latest outbreak marks the 14th since 1976, according to the WHO. Six of those outbreaks have occurred since 2018.