The deadliest and longest Ebola outbreak in the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has finally ended, the Health Minister Longondo Eteni jubilantly announced on June 25. The outbreak, concentrated in Ituri and North Kivu provinces in the northeastern DRC, infected 3470 people, and caused 2287 deaths.
The end of the nearly two-year long fight, was celebrated by the World Health Organisation, and welcomed by other organisations such as the Wellcome Trust.
But officials are cautiously optimistic, and emphasise that vigilance must be maintained in order to support survivors and prevent potential resurgences.
“Above all, the victory is a credit to the heroic Congolese healthcare workers and community members on the ground, some of whom I had the chance to meet and thank in person this past fall,” Azar said. “The United States provided more support for the Ebola response than any other nation and pushed for focusing international actors’ attention on the outbreak. We invested in the DRC’s public health capabilities for years and supported experimental therapeutics and a now-FDA-approved vaccine. The new Ebola outbreak in western DRC is a reminder that we must stay vigilant against this virus and all infectious threats that can cross borders.”