It re-emerged in February, nine months after another outbreak in the same province was declared over. Eleven confirmed cases and one probable case resulting in six deaths and six recoveries were recorded in four health zones in North Kivu, from February 7, when the Ministry of Health announced the resurgence of Ebola in Butembo, close to the border with Uganda.
12th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was declared
officially over on Monday, just three months after the first case was reported
in North Kivu. The virus – an often-fatal illness spread through contact with
bodily fluids, kills, on average, around half of those infected.
re-emerged in February, nine months after another outbreak in the same province
was declared over. Eleven confirmed cases and one probable case resulting in
six deaths and six recoveries were recorded in four health zones in North Kivu,
from February 7, when the Ministry of Health announced the resurgence of Ebola
in Butembo, close to the border with Uganda.
a press release, the World Health Organisation congratulated the health
authorities in DRC, and the health workers “on the ground for their swift
response which built on the country’s previous experience in tackling Ebola outbreaks.”
from genome sequencing conducted by the country’s National Institute of
Biomedical Research, found that the first Ebola case detected in the outbreak
was linked to the previous outbreak, but the source of infection is yet to be
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”, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for
Africa. Dr Moeti added that although the outbreak has ended, authorities 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
With nearly 60 experts on the
ground, WHO helped local workers to trace contacts as soon as the outbreak was
declared, providing treatment, engaging communities and vaccinating nearly
2,000 people at high risk, including over 500 frontline workers.
declaration of an end to the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo is a testament to the professionalism, sacrifices, and
collaboration by hundreds of true health heroes, in particular, the Congolese
responders,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in another statement
released last evening.
World Health Organization is committed to helping national and local
authorities, and the people of North Kivu, prevent the return of this deadly
virus and to promote the overall health and well-being of all at-risk
The response was often hampered by
insecurity due to armed groups in the restive region, close to the border with Uganda,
and social unrest, according to WHO, “which at times limited the movement of
There were concerns too, over the
potential cross-border spread of the outbreak. However, due to the effective
response, the outbreak was contained within North Kivu province.
“While the 12th outbreak is over,
there is a need for continued vigilance and maintaining a strong surveillance
system as potential flare-ups are possible in the months to come”, said WHO.
It is important to continue with
sustained disease surveillance, monitoring of alerts and working with
communities to detect and respond rapidly to any new cases and WHO will
continue to assist health authorities with their efforts to contain quickly a
sudden re-emergence of Ebola, the UN health agency added.
The 2018–2020 outbreak was the 10th
in the DRC and the country’s deadliest, with 3,481 cases, 2,299 deaths and
1,162 survivors. An ongoing Ebola outbreak also erupted in Guinea, West Africa,
beginning in February.