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WHO: Small Ebola Outbreak Contained in DR Congo

By VOA News May 03, 2021

The World Health Organization says a small outbreak of the Ebola virus has been contained in an eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

According to Congo's Ministry of Health, the outbreak inflected 12 people and killed six in North Kivu province.

The WHO congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo's health authorities and the heath workers "on the ground for their swift response which built on the country's previous experience in tackling Ebola outbreaks," said the U.N. agency in a statement Monday.

According to its statement, the WHO had an estimated 60 experts on the ground to help local workers trace contacts, provide treatment, engage communities and vaccinate nearly 2,000 people at high risk, including more than 500 front-line workers.

"Huge credit must be given to the local health workers and the national authorities for their prompt response, tenacity, experience and hard work that brought this outbreak under control," said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

The outbreak is the 12th known Ebola outbreak in the country in the last 45 years and the fourth in fewer than three years.

The WHO is calling for continued vigilance to prevent another flare-up in the next months.

"It is important to continue with sustained disease surveillance, monitoring of alerts and working with communities to detect and respond rapidly to any new cases and WHO will continue to assist health authorities with their efforts to contain quickly a sudden re-emergence of Ebola," the agency said.

Genetic sequencing done on the Ebola virus linked it to a previous outbreak that spread through North Kivu and a neighboring province in 2018.

That outbreak killed more than 2,000 people in the second-largest Ebola epidemic in modern history.

The biggest killed more than 11,000 in West Africa in 2014 and 2015.

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