WHO declares end to Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Jul 4, 2017 12:54 IST

Ebola outbreakThe World Health Organization (WHO) on 2 July 2017 declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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

Though the agency marks an end to the outbreak in the country, enhanced surveillance will continue, as well as strengthening of preparedness and readiness for Ebola outbreaks.

On 11 May 2017, WHO was notified by the Ministry of Public Health of the virus among a cluster of undiagnosed illnesses and deaths with haemorrhagic signs in Likati Health Zone. It was the country’s eighth outbreak of EVD since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976.  

How Congo was able to end the outbreak?

The effective response to the latest EVD outbreak in Africa was achieved through 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.

An Incident Management System was set up within 24 hours of the outbreak being announced.

WHO deployed more than 50 experts to work closely with government and partners.

It was also made sure that the survivors have access to medical care and screening for persistent virus, as well as psychosocial care, counselling and education to help them reintegrate into family and community life, reduce stigma and minimize the risk of EVD transmission.

WHO coordinated international technical support for the outbreak with Partners in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) and the Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network.

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About Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola virus is one of five known viruses within the genus Ebolavirus.

Four of the five known ebola viruses cause a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and other mammals.

Ebola virus has caused the majority of human deaths from EVD, and is the cause of the 2013–2015 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, which resulted in 11310 confirmed deaths.

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Read more Current Affairs on: Ebola Virus , EVD , Congo , Zaire , Democratic Republic of Congo

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