World Health Organization concludes medical investigation, declares Congo Ebola free
As part of WHO’s responsibility in ensuring safe and healthy conditions of individuals and the proper well-being of communities around the world, WHO has just concluded a 42 day investigation to ascertain the fate of the Democratic Republic of Congo as regards Ebola outbreak. A report according to a press release as published by APO has established that the country is free from the virus, noting that an enhanced surveillance is ongoing.
“Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) 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 tested negative for the disease for the second time. Enhanced surveillance in the country will continue, as well as strengthening of preparedness and readiness for Ebola outbreaks.”
In the words of WHO’s Director-General, winning the Ebola-war in Congo is an attestation to the fact that the world can control the deadly virus. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “With the end of this epidemic, DRC has once again proved to the world that we can control the very deadly Ebola virus if we respond early in a coordinated and efficient way.”
It should be noted however that in relation to the outbreak, 4 people have been confirmed dead while another 4 have survived. APO report estimated the registered contacts to a total of 583 persons, explaining that the success recorded was due to swift response on the part of the local authorities in collaboration with the World Health Organization team.
“4 people dead and 4 people survived the disease. Five of these cases were laboratory confirmed. A total of 583 contacts were registered and closely monitored, but no known contacts developed signs or symptoms of EVD.”
“The effective response to this latest EVD outbreak in Africa was achieved through the timely alert by local authorities of suspect cases, immediate testing of blood samples due to strengthened national laboratory capacity, the early announcement of the outbreak by the government, rapid response activities by local and national health authorities with the robust support of international partners, and speedy access to flexible funding.
“Coordination support on the ground by the WHO Health Emergencies Program was critical and an Incident Management System was set up within 24 hours of the outbreak being announced. WHO deployed more than 50 experts to work closely with government and partners.”
Correspondent: Olayiwola A. Ridwan