Democratic Republic of Congo declares end to latest Ebola outbreak


The Democratic Republic of Congo has declared the end to its latest Ebola outbreak, almost six months after cases were first reported.

The end of the country’s 11th Ebola outbreak means the DRC is now free from the viral disease for the first time in almost three years. Minister of health, Dr Eteni Longondo, officially declared an end to the outbreak on Wednesday after no new cases were reported in more than 48 days. The latest outbreak killed more than 55 people, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO).

DRC Ebola-free for first time in three years

The DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak emerged in the western province of Équateur, officially announced by authorities in the country on June 1. This came a matter of weeks before officials announced the end of the country’s worst Ebola outbreak in history – and the second-deadliest in the world – on June 25, which killed 2,280 people over the course of two years.

The DRC has had to juggle its most recent Ebola outbreak with the threat of coronavirus but the country’s relative success amid a global pandemic has been partly attributed to the hard lessons learned from recent Ebola outbreaks and measures put in place to deal with viral outbreaks.

Despite the end of its latest outbreak, officials are warning the public to remain vigilant and observe hygiene measures to avoid a resurgence of Ebola and facilitate the spread of coronavirus.

While the Équateur outbreak and the DRC’s worst outbreak in history were unrelated, the Équateur region has been hit by outbreaks in the past. It was also the site for the country’s ninth Ebola outbreak in 2018 although the virus was overcome in little more than three months.

Featured image: “Local people” flickr photo by CIFOR shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.