As we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass, another virus is seeing its last days in the eastern Congo. An Ebola outbreak in the Congo killed 2,280 people over the past two years, and now it’s finally coming to an end.
Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who coordinated the national Ebola response, said, “We are extremely proud to have been able to be victorious over an epidemic that lasted such a long time.”
The epidemic began in August 2018, and was the first Ebola epidemic in a conflict zone. Due to risks posed by armed groups, and communities hostile to outsiders (even medical personnel), spread of the disease was particularly devastating. Ultimately, the disease was vanquished through the development of new treatment methods and vaccines.
While there is another Ebola outbreak in the northern part of the country, health officials believe it will be more easily controlled since it is in a more stable region.
Reuters reported that since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976, there have been 11 outbreaks in the Congo, more than any other country in the world.