DR Congo declares end to latest Ebola outbreak |

There are four confirmed cases Ebola and one possible case, all die, WHO said in a statement. The outbreak is the third in Congo’s northwestern province of Equateur.

During the previous outbreak in the province of Equateur which lasted from June to November 2020, there were 130 confirmed cases and 55 deaths.

“Thanks to the strong response of the national authorities, This outbreak was ended quickly With limited transmission of the virus, said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

According to the WHO, the outbreak that has just ended has seen a total of 2,104 people vaccinated, including 302 contacts and 1307 frontline workers.

To facilitate vaccination deployment, an ultra-cold chain freezer was installed in Mbandaka allowing vaccine doses to be stored safely and efficiently locally.

‘We can be one step ahead’

Democratic Republic of Congo has now recorded 14 Ebola outbreaks since 1976, six of which have occurred since 2018.

Dr Moeti said: “Africa is seeing an increase in Ebola and other zoonotic diseases that are affecting large urban areas.

Noting that “important lessons” have been learned “from previous outbreaks and that they have been applied to deploying an ever more effective Ebola response, Dr Moeti emphasizes that: We need to be extra vigilant to make sure we catch cases quickly. This outbreak response shows that by ramping up preparedness, disease surveillance, and rapid detection, we can stay one step ahead.”

Stay alert

The UN health agency supported the DRC in implementing a robust national strategy developed early to guide coordinated response; decentralize operations to the lowest level to work closely with the community; evidence-based response; and regularly conduct epidemiological risk analysis to rapidly adjust the response.

Although the outbreak in Mbandaka has been declared over, health authorities are maintaining surveillance and are ready to respond quickly to any outbreak.

The WHO warns it is not uncommon for sporadic cases to occur after an outbreak.

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