DR Congo Declares Ebola Outbreak Over

ADDIS ABABA – The Ebola outbreak that erupted in the DR Congo’s North Kivu Province in October – the second in 2021 – was today declared over, the national health authorities announced.

The announcement was made after no new cases were reported at the end of a 42-day countdown, or two incubation periods and the last confirmed case was discharged, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

In total, 11 cases – eight confirmed and three probable – including six deaths were reported in the outbreak that was declared on 8 October after a new case was confirmed in Beni health zone in Kivu.

This was the country’s 13th outbreak and occurred in the same area as the 2018 outbreak which lasted two years, according to the WHO.

More than 1, 800 people were vaccinated in a campaign that kicked off just five days after the first case was detected.

The outbreak marks the first time the recently-licensed ERVEBO vaccine against Ebola was used in the country.

“Stronger disease surveillance, community engagement, targeted vaccination and prompt response are making for more effective Ebola containment in the region,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“During this outbreak, the Democratic Republic of Congo was able to limit widespread infections and save lives. Crucial lessons are being learned and applied with every outbreak experience,” she added.

Swift response comprising key outbreak control measures such as contact tracing, testing, disease surveillance as well as community collaboration efforts helped contain the outbreak within Beni, where the initial case was detected, said the UN Health agency.