By Dilan Pamuk
ANKARA (AA) - The latest Ebola outbreak in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo has ended, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Thursday.
DR Congo authorities declared the outbreak over 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, read a statement by WHO Africa.
DR Congo reported a total of 11 cases, including six deaths, since the country’s 13th Ebola outbreak started in the North Kivu province’s Beni region on Oct. 8.
Eight of the cases were confirmed and the other three remained probable.
Over 1,800 people were vaccinated in a campaign – the first to use the recently-licensed ERVEBO vaccine – started just five days after the first case, the statement said.
“Stronger disease surveillance, community engagement, targeted vaccination, and prompt response are making for more effective Ebola containment in the region,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.
“During this outbreak, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was able to limit widespread infections and save lives. Crucial lessons are being learned and applied with every outbreak experience.”
Two survivors of the latest outbreak have been enrolled in DR Congo’s Ebola Survivor Program, which currently hosts over 1,100 people from the previous outbreaks in North Kivu, according to the statement.
Under the program, they will have monthly checkups that include medical evaluations and psychological and nutritional support for 18 months.