Observation period of last Ebola contacts ends in DRC


The observation period of the last people to have come in contact with an Ebola patient in Democratic Republic of Congo has come to an end serving as a significant step towards ending the Ebola outbreak.

The 21 day follow up for the 46 contacts elapsed at midnight of 11th day of March with majority of contacts monitored in their homes in the North Eastern Beni town.

During celebrations to mark their release, Jean-Edmund Bwanakawa Nyonyi, the Mayor of Beni town reminded everyone to stay vigilant until the end of the outbreak was declared by the Ministry of Health.

In the week ending on 8th of March, 4,039 of the 4138 Ebola alerts received were investigated. Among the investigated alerts, 342 were validated as suspected cases requiring testing and medical care. in the same week , more than 366,000 travelers were screened.

The mayor in his speech said, “Ebola virus may persist in the body of some survivors of the disease for long and it may persist in used injectable equipments for several weeks, thus there us a risk of a new spillover.”

Although no new cases have been reported, Ebola response operations remain in full force with critical ongoing activities including validating alerts, testing suspected cases and confirming the cause of people who pass away in communities.

WHO has provided technical guidance suggesting that, if no other cases are confirmed , he current Ebola outbreak should be declared over after21 days incubation periods have passed, starting from the day the last Ebola patient tests negative for the second time and is released from treatment.

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