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  • Health workers carry the coffin of an Ebola victim, North Kivu province, DRC, August 29, 2019.

    Health workers carry the coffin of an Ebola victim, North Kivu province, DRC, August 29, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 June 2020
Opinion

The fight against the epidemic was complicated because the outbreak occurred in a war zone.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in the country's northeast, which left 2,280 dead since August 2018.

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"The victory over this long epidemic is also because of the result of international cooperation through our partners," Health Minister Eteni Longondo said.

On Thursday, 42 days passed without a new contagion being detected in the north-eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri. This period is equivalent to twice the incubation time of this virus.

"Congratulations to the Government, the Health Ministry, and the people of the DRC for this victory against one of the longest and deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history," the World Health Organization (WHO) office tweeted.

The fight against the Ebola epidemic was complicated because the outbreak occurred in a war zone close to large urban centers such as Goma and Bunia.

This epidemic is the worst in the history of the DRC and the second most serious worldwide, after the one that devastated West Africa from 2014 to 2016, in which 28,500 infections and 11,300 deaths were registered.

The Health Ministry's announcement, however, does not mean that the DRC is free of Ebola as Congolese authorities reported on June 1 of an eleventh outbreak in the Mbandaka port, where 33 people died in 2018.

Discovered in the DRC and initially named Zaire, Ebola is a highly contagious disease that is transmitted by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected people or animals.

Besides being able to achieve a 90 percent mortality rate, Ebola causes severe bleeding and its first symptoms are sudden high fever, severe weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and vomiting.

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