DRC: Another African country beats Ebola!

Thursday, 20 November, 2014

On the 15 November the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the DRC Ebola outbreak to be over. This date was 42 days after the onset of the last detected case. Two maximum incubation periods for the disease is used in determining the end date for outbreaks; i.e, 21 days x 2 = 42 days for Ebola. The government of DRC, assisted by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and WHO, controlled this outbreak, which was separate from the West African Ebola epidemic.

The DRC outbreak was localised, focussed in the Equateur Province, and had 66 cases (38 confirmed, 28 probable) with 49 deaths. It was the eighth Ebola outbreak in DRC. The Ministry of Health in DRC has become skilled and very experienced in Ebola control.

DRC is now the third African country in 2014 to control and stop an Ebola outbreak. It joins Nigeria and Senegal. The achievement of Nigeria in controlling its epidemic, started when Patrick Sawyer arrived in Lagos from Liberia, was truely magnificient. Nigeria’s quick and forceful control interventions avoided a far worse national and global catestrophe (Fasina et al 2014).

An excellent video from WHO briefly describing control efforts in DRC is available on YouTube. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JWn9JyeufU

Fasina et al. Transmission dynamics and control of Ebola virus disease outbreak in Nigeria, July to September 2014. Eurosurveillance 2014;19(40):):pii=20920. (article 3)

Image: Dr Olea Balayulu Makila, a clinical psychologist with DRC Ministry of Health, explains how they work with the community to address concerns and fears.

Posted by Rick Speare