Democratic Republic of Congo Current Affairs

WHO declares end of Ebola outbreak in Congo

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The announcement comes 42 days (two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus) after the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas-Uélé province of DRC tested negative for the disease for the second time.

It was DRC’s eighth outbreak of EVD since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976. It killed four of the eight people infected in the central African country.

The recent outbreak in DRC is not connected to the 2014 deadly Ebola outbreak that had worst hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and killed more than 11,300 dead, highest ever since its discovery of virus. This outbreak was declared finished in 2016.

About Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a viral hemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by ebola viruses. It was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a village near the Ebola River, from which it takes its name.

 Transmission: The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats are natural host of this virus. It spreads through contact with body fluids of inflected persons such as blood, urine and saliva. It also spreads through sexual transmission.

Symptoms: High fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. However, in past outbreaks case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90%.

Treatment: There is as yet no proven treatment available for EVD. However, a range of potential treatments including immune therapies, blood products and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. An experimental Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV is proved to highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial in Guinea conducted in 2015.

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