WHO confirms new DR Congo Ebola case hours before expected end of epidemic

The entrance area of the Ebola treatment centre CTE ALIMA BENI. The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed more than 2,200 people since August 2018. /Getty Images

Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Democratic Republic of Congo has reported a new Ebola case as it was counting down to the end of the epidemic.

Before Friday’s case, the country discharged the last Ebola patient on March 3 after it went 13 days without a confirmed case of the deadly virus.

The World Health Organization now reports that a new case has been reported, less than 48 hours before an expected declaration that the country is Ebola free.

“After 52 days without a case, surveillance response teams on the ground have confirmed a new case of Ebola in the DR Congo. We have been preparing for and expecting more cases. Unfortunately, this means the government of DR Congo will not be able to declare an end to the outbreak on Monday as hoped, WHO Director-Gerenal Tedros Adhanom said.

Since the DR Congo Ebola outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018, more than 3,400 people were infected and over 2,200 lives lost.

In response to the Ebola outbreak, the DR Congo vaccinated over 290 000 people, with WHO reporting a 97.5% efficacy.

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