Democratic Republic of the Congo declares Ebola outbreak over

Dec. 17, 2021

The Ebola outbreak that erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu Province in October, which was the second in 2021, was declared over, the national health authorities announced after no new cases were reported at the end of a 42-day countdown, or two incubation periods after the last confirmed case was discharged, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In total, 11 cases (eight confirmed, three probable), including six deaths were reported in the outbreak that was declared on October 8  after a new case was confirmed in the Beni health zone in the country’s North Kivu Province. This was the country’s 13th outbreak and occurred in the same area as the 2018 outbreak, which lasted two years.

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

With the outbreak now declared over, the health authorities are maintaining surveillance and are ready to respond quickly to any flare-ups. It is not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following a major outbreak. Results from genome sequencing conducted by the country’s National Institute of Biomedical Research found that the first Ebola case detected in the just-ended outbreak likely represented a new flare-up of the 2018–2020 Ebola outbreak due to persistence of the virus in the community.

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