By Asmau Ahmad
Health Minister Jean-Jacques Mbanda on Tuesday said Democratic Republic of Congo has declared the end of its latest Ebola virus outbreak in the eastern province of North Kivu.
The 15th outbreak in the Central African Country emerged when a new case of the deadly virus was confirmed in the eastern city of Beni on August 22.
Testing showed the case was genetically linked to the 2018-2020 outbreaks in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, which killed nearly 2,300 people.
Another flare-up from that outbreak killed six people in 2021.
Mbanda said “after 42 days of reinforced surveillance without a new confirmed case, I am happy to solemnly declare the end of the 15th [Ebola] epidemic that lasted one month and 12 days.’’
Congo’s dense tropical forests are a natural reservoir for the Ebola virus, which causes fever, body aches, and diarrhoea.
The country has recorded 14 outbreaks since 1976. The 2018-2020 outbreaks in the east were Congo’s largest and the second largest ever recorded with nearly 3,500 total cases.
Congo’s most recent outbreak was in northwest Equateur province. It was declared over in July after five deaths.