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Congo declares end of world's second-largest ebola outbreak

The second-worst Ebola outbreak in history is over as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Congo's health minister Eteni Longondo on Thurday June 25.

Eteni Longondo noted that this has been the longest and most complex Ebola epidemic in the history of the country.

The 23-month long battle against the outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo resulted in the death of 2,280 people and also drew on 16,000 front-line workers, technological innovation and a new vaccine.

Efforts to curb the spread of the disease which affected 3,463 people, was hampered earlier due to mistrust from community members, feuds between government officials, attacks on health care facilities and the emergence of new hot spots.

The regional director of WHO, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said the outbreak is over due to the collaboration by various arms of government and the community. Speaking at a virtual news conference, Moeti said;

    “This is a sign of hope that with solidarity and science epidemics can be controlled.

    “At times it seemed like a mission impossible. Ending this Ebola outbreak is a sign of hope for the region and the world, that with solidarity and science and courage and commitment, even the most challenging epidemics can be controlled.”

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever endemic in animal populations that reside in Africa’s tropical forests and is passed from person to person through contact with bodily fluids. Congo has had 11 outbreaks since the virus was first identified in humans in 1976.

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