Brazzavile: The 12th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) was declared over on Monday, just three months after the first case was reported in North Kivu region.
This outbreak is the country’s fourth in less than three years.
Eleven confirmed cases and one probable case, six deaths and six recoveries were recorded in four health zones in North Kivu since February 7 when the Ministry of Health announced the resurgence of Ebola in Butembo, a city in North Kivu Province and one of the hotspots of the 2018–2020 outbreak.
Results from genome sequencing conducted by the country’s National Institute of Biomedical Research found that the first Ebola case detected in the outbreak was linked to the previous outbreak, but the source of infection is yet to be determined.
The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulated the DR Congo’s health authorities and the heath workers on the ground for their swift response which built on the country’s previous experience in tackling Ebola outbreaks.
"Huge credit must be given to the local health workers and the national authorities for their prompt response, tenacity, experience and hard work that brought this outbreak under control," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Direct for Africa, in a press release on Monday.
"Although the outbreak has ended, we must stay alert for possible resurgence and at the same time use the growing expertise on emergency response to address other health threats the country faces," Moeti stated.
WHO continues to work with the DR Congo to fight other public health problems such as outbreaks of measles and cholera, the covid-19 pandemic and a weak health system.
The 2018–2020 outbreak was the 10th in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the country’s deadliest, with 3481 cases, 2299 deaths and 1162 survivors.
The country also experienced its 11th outbreak which took place in Equateur Province last year.
Currently there is an ongoing Ebola outbreak in Guinea, which began in February of this year.