NewsDesk @bactiman63

For the third time since 2018, Equateur Province in the northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has seen an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) declared and later declared over.

Today, country officials declared the end of the Ebola outbreak that erupted less than three months ago in Mbandaka meeting the 42 consecutive days without a new confirmed case (no new case reported since 20 May 2022).

The latest EVD outbreak was declared on April 23 and in total there were four confirmed cases and one probable case – all of whom died.

“Thanks to the robust response by the national authorities, this outbreak has been brought to an end swiftly with limited transmission of the virus,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Crucial lessons have been learned from past outbreaks and they have been applied to devise and deploy an ever more effective Ebola response.”

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, rolling out key counter measures including testing, contact tracing, infection prevention and control, treatment and community engagement. Vaccination – a crucial protective measure – was launched just four days after the outbreak was declared.

Although the outbreak in Mbandaka has been declared over, health authorities are maintaining surveillance and are ready to respond quickly to any flare-ups. It is not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following an outbreak.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has now recorded 14 Ebola outbreaks since 1976, six of which have occurred since 2018.