DR Congo discharges last Ebola patient

The last patient treated for Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo was discharged on Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.


The patient was released from a hospital in the eastern city of Beni, bringing the 19-month-old outbreak closer than ever to an end.


The outbreak has killed 2,264 people and infected nearly 1,200 more, making it the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history. Only the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa was deadlier, killing more than 11,000.


The DRC has now gone 14 days without any new confirmed case. The outbreak can be declared over once 42 days have passed without a new case – equivalent to two cycles of 21 days, the maximum incubation period for the virus.


WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed at a briefing on Tuesday the development as “very good news, not just for me, but for the whole world.”


In response to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, over 290, 000 people have been vaccinated under compassionate use protocols.


Last month, DRC, Burundi, Ghana and Zambia have licensed an Ebola vaccine.


Preliminary results indicate that the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine, an injectable manufactured by Merck, or MSD as it is known outside the United States and Canada, has been effective in 97.5% of cases and could reduce the chances of death in those already infected.

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