The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the Ebola outbreak which occurred in DRC Congo is over. The organization has however stated that it will continue to conduct surveillance in the DRC as well as strengthen its readiness and preparedness for future outbreaks. Before an Ebola outbreak is confirmed to be over, doctors have to wait for a 21-day incubation cycle for the last patient that was affected by the virus to be free from it. The WHO made the announcement after 42 days. The last patient to test positive for the virus tested negative twice.

2017 DRC Ebola virus outbreak

The virus was first discovered on May 11 this year after one person died from being infected by the virus. After the discovery of the virus, WHO stated that although the risks of the virus spreading are low, the epidemic should not be neglected. Since the discovery, four people have died so far while four others who were infected with the virus have survived. The first patient who reported to have had the virus was a 39-year-old man. Four days later, the WHO identified 19 people that were suspected to have had the virus. Three deaths had been reported at that time. The number of those alleged to have had the virus increased to 21 a day later. On May 17, the number of people that were being monitored rose to about 416.

Previous outbreaks of the Ebola virus in the DRC occurred in 1976, 1977, 1995, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014. In 2014, 49 people died while 66 others were infected with the virus.

The Ebola virus disease

Signs and symptoms start between two days and three weeks after an individual is infected with the virus. Those infected with the virus experience symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, headache and muscle pain.

Symptoms such as rash, diarrhea, and vomiting appear later. The virus mainly decreases the functions of the kidney and the liver. Those that are critically ill experience hemorrhaging and will bleed internally as well as externally. The fruit bat mostly carries the virus.

Effectiveness of the response

The effectiveness of the response to the virus outbreak in the DRC was as a result of timely alert by local authorities, substantial national laboratory capacity that conducted tests on blood samples as well as an early announcement by the government.

The WHO also noted that international response was robust and that funding was speedy and flexible. The country's health minister Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga stated that health systems in Bas-Uele province in the North of the country need to be strengthened because the province has been stressed due to the outbreak.