Ebola Outbreak in DRC Declared Over

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reached 42 days without a new case. Guinea, however, has not officially declared its outbreak over yet.

Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the international health community declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu Province, DRC. After reaching 42 days (two incubation periods) with no new cases and after the last survivor tested negative and was released from the treatment center, the DRC Ministry of Health (MOH) and World Health Organization announced the outbreak was over. This Ebola outbreak, DRC’s 12th, was announced on February 7, 2021.

In total, 12 cases (probable and confirmed) and 6 deaths were reported.

“CDC commends the DRC Ministry of Health and partners whose work helped bring this outbreak to an end,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “We are proud to have been part of the effort and remain committed to supporting the DRC’s efforts to assist outbreak survivors, prevent future outbreaks, and quickly detect and respond to any new cases of Ebola. Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones due to this deadly disease.”

Going back to earlier this year, the DRC has been dealing with an Ebola outbreak as well as the country of Guinea. According to the World Health Organization, Guinea began a 42-day countdown to declaring an end to the EVD outbreak in early May.

Health authorities in Guinea declared an Ebola outbreak back on February 14 after 3 cases were diagnosed in Gouécké, a rural community in N’Zerekore prefecture It was the first Ebola outbreak in Guinea since 2016.

According to a UNICEF report that as of April 24, 16 cases of Ebola were confirmed in Guinea, including 5 confirmed deaths and 10 recoveries. On that same date, the last confirmed case was discharged from medical care.

With persistent infections within survivors that lead to further transmission, the CDC helped the DRC MOH develop a mobile genetic sequencing lab in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. The lab will continue to provide technical assistance as more is learned about sexual transmission of the virus and relapse in survivors.

The outbreaks will be followed by 90 days of additional Ebola surveillance to ensure that any new cases are quickly detected and responded to.