DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak declared over after 55 deaths, more than 100 cases
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 11th Ebola outbreak was declared over today, marking the end of a 6-month effort in Équateur province.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, said in a statement.
The outbreak was announced June 1 — just as the second largest Ebola outbreak in history was winding down on the other side of the country. According to WHO, genetic sequencing determined that the outbreaks were not related.
The latest outbreak included 119 confirmed and 11 probable cases and 55 deaths, according to WHO. Overall, more than 40,000 people were vaccinated during the outbreak. Cold chain storage kept the vaccine at low temperatures for up to a week, enabling responders to vaccinate people in communities without electricity, WHO said.
“Overcoming one of the world’s most dangerous pathogens in remote and hard-to-access communities demonstrates what is possible when science and solidarity come together,” WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti, MBBS, MSc, said in a press release. “Tackling Ebola in parallel with COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, but much of the expertise we’ve built in one disease is transferrable to another and underlines the importance of investing in emergency preparedness and building local capacity.”
WHO said that although the outbreak is over, continued vigilance and strong surveillance are crucial because flare-ups are possible in the upcoming months.