DRC declares end of 12th Ebola epidemic

The Democratic Republic of the Congo officially declared on Monday the end of the twelfth epidemic of the Ebola virus disease almost three months after its “resurgence” in North Kivu thanks to the use of a vaccine, it was reported. learned from the Minister of Health.

A total of 12 cases have been recorded, with six deaths and hundreds of people vaccinated since the resurgence of the epidemic on February 7 in the province of North Kivu (east), said the new Congolese Minister of Health, Jean. -Jacques Mbungani.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine manufactured by the American laboratory Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) was used to prevent the spread of this twelfth epidemic, the minister said.

The epidemic reappeared in an area of ​​North Kivu (Butembo) struck between August 2018 and June 2020 by the strongest outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the entire history of the DRC (3,470 infections, and 2,287 deaths).

The World Health Organization (WHO) had elevated the previous epidemic in the East to the rank of international health emergency, for fear of its spread.

Despite this declaration, the Congolese government invites the population “to be vigilant” and to stay in contact with “surveillance” teams who will continue to work with local health authorities in North Kivu, Mr. Mbungani added.

Identified in 1976 by Peter Piot and an international team including the Congolese professor Muyembe, the Ebola virus is transmitted to humans by infected animals.

Human transmission is through body fluids, with the main symptoms of fever, vomiting, bleeding, diarrhea.

The largest hemorrhagic fever epidemic hit West Africa between 2013 and 2016 (11,000 deaths).

The DRC has also been facing the Covid-19 epidemic since March 2019 with 29,965 cases and 768 deaths. A vaccination campaign is underway, which does not attract many people.

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