The Democratic Republic of the Congo has declared the last cycle of the Ebola outbreak to be over.
The Congolese Minister of Health, Dr. Jean-Jacques Mbungani said Monday the outbreak in Equateur province in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo has been tamed.
This latest outbreak was announced on April 23, 2022 in Mbandaka , Equateur’s largest city , was the 14th in the history of Congo.
“After 42 days of increased surveillance without any new confirmed case, from July 3, 2022 and in accordance with WHO protocol, I declare the end of the 14. Ebola epidemic in Equateur Province,” said Dr. Mbungani.
According to the World Health Organization, it takes 42 days without a new infection for an Ebola epidemic to be over.
See:New Ebola outbreak reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo< /p>
For Equateur province, this was the third outbreak since 2018. Five people were infected with the hemorrhagic fever virus and died, officials said.
“We regret the death of all confirmed cases at one time , in which the country not only has the technical know-how, but also vaccines and medicines for films against Ebola,” said the Health Minister.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, commended Congolese health workers for containing the virus.
“Thanks to the robust response from the DRC’s Ministry of Health, this outbreak was quickly ended with limited transmission of the virus Critical lessons have been learned from previous outbreaks and applied to design and deploy an even more effective Ebola response,” said Dr Matshidiso. “Response to this outbreak demonstrates that through increased preparedness, surveillance and early case detection stay ahead of the game.”
Dr. Mbungani said only two of the three health zones in the city of Mbandaka, out of the 18 in the province, were affected.
The Ministry of Health and the WHO have taken emergency measures including screening, follow-up of people infected with the infected have been in contact, prevention, infection control, vaccination and comprehensive community awareness-raising. This prevented the disease from spreading widely.
The previous outbreak in Equateur province, which lasted from June to November 2020, killed 55 out of 130 confirmed patients.
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Unlike previous outbreaks where people strongly opposed vaccination, the 14th Ebola outbreak saw little resistance as 2,104 people were vaccinated, including 302 contacts and 1,307 health workers and other frontline workers.
The first Ebola virus in Congo was detected in the north-west in 1976, and there have been 14 outbreaks, including six since 2018. The deadliest broke out in North Kivu between 2018 and 2020 , with over 2,200 deaths.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with blood and body fluids (urine, stool, saliva, vomit, breast milk, sweat) and objects infected by a person with Ebola . The virus is also transmitted through contact with sick or dead wildlife.
Symptoms vary, but sudden fever, severe weakness, muscle pain, headache, and throat irritation are common early in infection. Vomiting and diarrhea, skin rash, kidney and liver dysfunction, and in some cases internal and external bleeding occur.