Infectious Disease

Last Ebola patient discharged in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, starting the countdown to the end of outbreaks

March 25, 2021

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The final patients from the ongoing Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea were released from care this week, kicking off the countdown to explain the outbreaks, WHO said.

According to the WHO, the last Ebola patient from the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) was discharged from a treatment center in Katwa, North Kivu province, on Monday – 37 days after the disease recurred in the region.

Guinea and DRC Ebola

Source: WHO

WHO said the last patient in Guinea was discharged in the city of N’Zérékoré on Tuesday evening, 38 days after this outbreak began, which has been genetically linked to the West African epidemic that ended in 2016.

For an Ebola outbreak to be declared over, there must be no new cases for 42 days – the duration of two incubation periods.

During the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12 people were infected and six died. Early on, officials announced that the outbreak began when the wife of a previous survivor of the outbreak sought medical attention for Ebola-like symptoms almost 8 months after the outbreak was explained. She later died. According to the WHO, more than 1,700 people were vaccinated in the outbreak to contain the further spread.

The Guinea outbreak, the first in the country since the West African epidemic that infected more than 28,000 people and killed 11,300 people, resulted in 18 cases and nine deaths. More than 3,900 people were vaccinated during the outbreak, according to the WHO.

WHO said teams will remain on-site to assist local health authorities with surveillance, pathogen detection and community engagement during the 42-day countdown.

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