Today marks the end of the 11th Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after causing 119 confirmed cases, 11 probable ones (130 cases total), and 55 deaths (42.3% of all cases), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Since beginning in the country’s western province of Equateur on Jun 1, the outbreak affected 13 of the province’s 18 health zones in both urban and remote communities. While experimental treatments have been used in the past, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first one, Inmazeb, only on Oct 14. The first FDA-approved vaccine, Ervebo, made by Merck, was announced in December 2019 and has been used in the past three DRC outbreaks. According to the WHO, an Ebola outbreak is over when 42 days (twice the virus’ incubation period) have passed since the last survivor tests positive. Health officials will continue to watch for cases, as survivors can relapse and/or sexually transmit the virus for up to 6 months.

 

Credit: CC BY-ND 2.0, flickr, UNMEER

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