Relief from affected communities as North Kivu declared free of devastating virus.
On the 3rd of May 2021, the ministry of Public Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared the 12th Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak to be over. Marking the country’s fourth outbreak in less than three years, the recent outbreak ended in just over three months since its laboratory confirmation on the 7th of Feb 2021. In total, four health zones were affected, and 12 cases were identified, resulting in six deaths and six recoveries. Months after declaring its last outbreak over, the virus emerged again in Butembo, North Kivu Province - a region marred by armed violence and insecurity, and which accounted for a high number of cases during the 10th outbreak.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) supported government with investigating the source of infection. Though the source is yet to be determined, results from genome sequencing carried out by the country’s National Institute of Biomedical Research, found that the first case detected in February to be linked to the previous outbreak. WHO congratulated the health authorities in DRC, and the health workers “on the ground for their swift response which built on the country’s previous experience in tackling Ebola outbreaks.” While the milestone is being celebrated, communities are still urged to remain vigilant of infectious diseases prevalent in their regions including COVID-19.