WHO Declares End To Latest Ebola Outbreak In DR Congo

By Newsroom America Staff at 5 Jul 2017

(Newsroom America) -- A recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is over, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, while adding that enhanced surveillance for the virus continues.

The announcement comes 42 days since the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas-Uélé province tested negative for the disease for the second time.

“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,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the new Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

At least four people died, and more that 580 were registered and closely monitored after having come into contact with the virus, WHO reported.

The virus emerged in Likati, which according to WHO is “a remote, hard-to reach area” bordering the Central African Republic and other provinces of the DRC.

Officials said the response was “effective” and praised “the timely alert by local authorities of suspect cases, immediate testing of blood samples due to strengthened national laboratory capacity, the early announcement of the outbreak by the government, rapid response activities by local and national health authorities with the robust support of international partners, and speedy access to flexible funding.”

This was the eighth outbreak of Ebola in the DRC, where the virus was discovered in 1976.

Likati is one of the areas where the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) had been providing technical support to local officials in May, to help them deliver lifesaving information about Ebola to local populations.

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