The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday announced the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak — three months after the first case was reported in the North Kivu province.
The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulated the DRC’s health authorities and health workers for their swift response built on the country’s previous experience in tackling Ebola outbreaks.
The WHO said in a statement there is a need for continued vigilance and maintaining a strong surveillance system as potential flare-ups are possible in the months to come.
“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,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, said.
“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,” she added.
During the recent 12th Ebola outbreak in the Central African country, six deaths and 12 cases were confirmed while nearly 2,000 people at high risk, including over 500 frontline workers, were vaccinated against the virus, according to recent figures announced by the WHO Africa Region.
The DRC announced a new outbreak on Feb. 7 in the eastern part of the country after a case was identified near Butembo in North Kivu, more than two months after the end of the 11th outbreak.
On Nov. 18 2020, the DRC announced the end of the 11th epidemic that hit the northwestern Equateur Province.
The disease caused global alarm in 2014, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the course of the epidemic.
Ebola, a tropical fever that first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the DRC, is transmitted to humans from wild animals.
Currently, there is an ongoing Ebola outbreak in the West African country of Guinea, which began in February.