DR Congo Declares End of 14th Ebola Outbreak

Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 05 July 2022 10:41 WIB
DR Congo Declares End of 14th Ebola Outbreak
It was the third outbreak in the province since 2018 and the country’s 14th overall. (Photo:
Brazzaville: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) on Monday declared the end of the Ebola outbreak that erupted less than three months ago in Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province in the northwest. 

It was the third outbreak in the province since 2018 and the country’s 14th overall.
With greater experience in Ebola control, national emergency teams, with the support from World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, mounted a swift response soon after the outbreak was declared on 23 April, rolling out key counter measures including testing, contact tracing, infection prevention and control, treatmentand community engagement. Vaccination – a crucial protective measure – was launched just four days after the outbreak was declared.

In all, there were four confirmed cases and one probable case – all of whom died. 
In the previous outbreak in Equateur Province that lasted from June to November 2020, there were 130 confirmed cases and 55 deaths.

"Thanks to the robust response by the national authorities, this outbreak has been brought to an end swiftly withlimited transmission of the virus," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a press release on Monday.

"Crucial lessons have been learned from past outbreaks and they have been applied to devise and deploy an ever more effective Ebola response," Dr Moeti added.

DR Congo has now recorded 14 Ebola outbreaks since 1976, six of which have occurred since 2018.

"Africa is seeing an increase in Ebola and other infectious diseases that jump from animals to humans impacting large urban areas," said Dr Moeti. 

"We need to be ever more vigilant to ensure we catch cases quickly. This outbreak response shows that by bolstering preparedness, disease surveillance and swift detection, we can stay a step ahead," she added.

The disease, which affects humans and other primates, is severe and often fatal. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. 

However, with the currently available effective treatment, patients have a significantly higher chance of survival if they are treated early and given supportive care.


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