A three-month Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended after claiming at least 49 lives, the country’s health minister says. Felix Kabange said no new cases had been registered since 4 October, though he warned against complacency. The country’s outbreak is unrelated to the one in West Africa which has claimed more than 5,000 lives. Ebola was first detected in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.Saturday’s announcement came 42 days after the last new Ebola case in the country – Ebola outbreaks are usually declared over when two full cycles of the virus’ 21 day incubation period finish without further infections.
The outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which began in August, had a high fatality rate at 74%. While the epidemic involved a separate strain of Ebola to the one devastating West Africa, Mr Kabange said that his country “remains threatened by the possible import of the Ebola virus disease” from the region. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the worst on record. The World Health Organization says 5,160 people have been killed and more than 14,000 have been infected.