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The DRC declares the end to its 11th Ebola outbreak

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officially declared the end of its 11th Ebola outbreak Wednesday, six months after the first cases of the deadly virus were reported.

(CNN)The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officially declared the end of its 11th Ebola outbreak Wednesday, six months after the first cases of the deadly virus were reported.

The eastern outbreak was the world's second-deadliest Ebola outbreak on record, and was officially declared over on June 25 -- but the one in Equateur was just beginning.

By the time the Equateur outbreak ended, it had 130 confirmed cases -- 75 recoveries and 55 deaths.

The Equateur outbreak posed a massive logistical challenge for health and aid workers from WHO, local groups, and government agencies.

Not only did it come in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, when resources were already strained, but the outbreak was located in communities across dense rainforests and remote villages, the WHO said in a press release.

Sometimes the workers would also face resistance from the local community, said the WHO.

Health workers tried to counteract this fear by visiting local communities to increase their understanding of the virus.

Local health workers and WHO experts visited more than 574,000 households, and vaccinated more than 40,000 people at high risk.

In some cases, the virus is spread through contact with someone who has died from the disease.

Though the WHO celebrated the end of the Equateur outbreak, it also warned that there's a risk the virus could re-emerge; the virus can persist in survivors' body fluids for months, and is present in animals across the region.

"While the 11th outbreak is over, there is a need for continued vigilance and maintaining strong surveillance as potential flare-ups are possible in the months to come," the organization said in the news release.

"The end of this outbreak serves as a reminder that governments and partners must continue to focus attention on other emergencies, even as the fight against Covid-19 persists. "

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