WHO declares Ebola outbreak over in Democratic Republic of Congo

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GENEVA: The most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is over, after four people died and another four survived the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday.

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This is DRC’s eighth outbreak of EVD since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976. The WHO announcement came 42 days after the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas-Uele province, in northern DRC, tested negative for the disease for the second time.

The outbreak has caused four deaths, while a total of 583 contacts were registered and closely monitored, but no known contacts developed signs or symptoms of EVD.

“With the end of this epidemic, DRC has once again proved to the world that we can control the very deadly Ebola virus if we respond early in a coordinated and efficient way,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

On May 11 2017, the WHO was notified by the Ministry of Public Health of the virus among a cluster of undiagnosed illnesses and deaths with hemorrhagic signs in Likati Health Zone.

Likati is a remote, hard to reach area, bordering with the Central African Republic and two other provinces of the DRC. EVD cases were reported in four health districts.

The WHO Health Emergencies Program offered coordination support on the ground within 24 hours of the outbreak being announced, and deployed more than 50 experts to work closely with government and partners.

“Together with partners, we are committed to continuing support to the government of DRC to strengthen the health system and improve healthcare delivery and preparedness at all levels,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said.

The WHO said enhanced surveillance in the country will continue, as well as strengthening of preparedness and readiness for Ebola outbreaks.

XINHUA

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