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Congo declares end of 13th Ebola outbreak

Ebola Ebola
Photo: WHO

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has declared the end of an Ebola outbreak that infected 11 people, killing six of them.

The outbreak — the second in 2021 — was announced on October 8 after a case was confirmed in the country’s North Kivu Province.

The World Health Organisation said it was DRC’s 13th outbreak and that it occurred in the same area as the 2018 outbreak which lasted two years.

The WHO said more than 1800 people were vaccinated using Merck’s ERVEBO vaccine in a campaign that kicked off just five days after the first case was detected.

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“Stronger disease surveillance, community engagement, targeted vaccination and prompt response are making for more effective Ebola containment in the region,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said on Thursday.

“During this outbreak, the Democratic Republic of Congo was able to limit widespread infections and save lives. Crucial lessons are being learned and applied with every outbreak experience.”

The WHO said swift response, comprising key outbreak control measures such as contact tracing, testing, disease surveillance as well as community collaboration efforts, helped contain the outbreak.

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In February, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) placed Nigeria at moderate risk of experiencing an Ebola outbreak.

The NCDC had said it was due to Nigeria’s proximity to Guinea after an outbreak was declared in the West African country on February 14.

In 2014, there was an outbreak of Ebola across West Africa, including in Nigeria.

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