By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

On Monday, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared the end of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak that was first announced on 7 February 2021.

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under a very-high magnification, this digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a single filamentous Ebola virus particle that had budded from the surface of a VERO cell of the African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line.

This was the 12th Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

In this latest outbreak, 11 confirmed cases and one probable case, six deaths and six recoveries were recorded in four health zones.

Genome sequencing results found that the first case detected was linked to the earlier outbreak, but the infection’s source is yet to be determined.

The last confirmed cases were reported on 1 March 2021, all among family members of confirmed cases. The last hospitalized confirmed case tested negative for the second time on 21 March 2021, triggering the 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of the outbreak.

The World Health Organization says the swift initial response to the outbreak played a major role in the
outbreak’s rapid conclusion, as well as in the relatively few people infected and dying. Vaccines were rapidly rolled out and provided to high risk contacts and frontline workers as well as to contacts-of-contacts, alerts were reported and followed-up and points of entry were monitored and travellers screened and sensitized to EVD prevention measures.

On Monday, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Today’s declaration of an end to the latest Ebola outbreak in the in Democratic Republic of the Congo is a testament to the professionalism, sacrifices, and collaboration by hundreds of true health heroes, in particular the Congolese responders,” said Dr Tedros. “The World Health Organization is committed to helping national and local authorities, and the people of North Kivu, prevent the return of this deadly virus and to promote the overall health and well-being of all at-risk communities.”