Congo announces end to 2nd-largest Ebola outbreak on record

Grant Boone
June 26, 2020

The Organization announced this in a tweet via its Twitter account on Thursday stating that this was one of the longest & deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history. The 2014-2016 outbreak killed 2,287 people and infected 3,470 people, 28 percent of whom were children, according to the United Nations agency providing humanitarian aid for children worldwide, known as UNICEF.

Congo has suffered many Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered near the Ebola River in 1976, more than double any other country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the end of the outbreak in the east, where insecurity is also endemic, was a cause for celebration as it had been a tough and often unsafe two years for those involved in fighting it.

It was days away from declaring an end to the epidemic when new cases were detected, pushing back the gains made.

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The outbreak was the country's tenth Ebola outbreak and the second largest Ebola outbreak in history.

The 22-month-long response, led by the Congolese government with support from the WHO and partners, involved training thousands of health workers, registering 250,000 contacts, testing 220,000 samples, providing patients with equitable access to advanced therapeutics, vaccinating over 303,000 people and offering care for survivors after their recovery. "This is a sign of hope that, with solidarity and science, epidemics can be controlled".

Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said several health measures implemented in combating the Ebola epidemic are now crucial in suppressing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Viruses do not take breaks.

Moeti also said that the lessons learned from fighting the Ebola outbreak "have been quickly activated in response to COVID-19 in the DRC and its neighboring countries". "But unfortunately it's still killing people in the western region".

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