10th Ebola Outbreak Ends as the 11th Ramps Up

Ervebo is an FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of Ebola virus disease
young african boys on a playground

The World Health Organization (WHO) marked the end of the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on June 25, 2020.

This Ebola outbreak was declared in August 2018, and is the second-largest in the world, with 3,470 cases and 2,287 related fatalities.

This data represents a 65% cases-fatalities-rate.

‘This long, complex and difficult outbreak has been overcome due to the leadership and commitment of the Government of the DRC,’ commented the WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a June 25, 2020 press statement.

‘WHO congratulates all those involved in the arduous and often dangerous work required to end the outbreak, but stresses the need for vigilance.’

‘Continuing to support survivors and maintaining strong surveillance and response systems in order to contain potential flare-ups is critical in the months to come.’

"The world is now better-equipped to respond to Ebola. A vaccine has been licensed, and effective treatments identified,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We should celebrate this moment, but we must resist complacency.” 

“Viruses do not take breaks. Ultimately, the best defense against any outbreak is investing in a stronger health system as the foundation.”

‘Thanks to their efforts, this outbreak did not spread globally.’

Led by the DRC Ministry of Health, about 303,000 people were vaccinated with the Ervebo is a recombinant, replication-competent Ebola vaccine.

While this 10th outbreak in DRC has ended, the fight against Ebola continues. 

On June 1, 2020, an 11th outbreak was declared by the WHO.

“While an outbreak of Ebola continues in the northwestern part of the country, ending the Ebola outbreak in the eastern part of the DRC is a significant milestone," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, and chief patient officer, Merck.

"This effort required cutting-edge science, strong public health measures, unity of purpose among the many global partners, and most importantly, relentless courage of frontline workers and patients.”

“As the world confronts the unprecedented SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the DRC faces a new Ebola outbreak among other public health challenges, lessons from these efforts will help continuously improve response efforts to infectious disease outbreaks."

"These experiences are stark reminders of the importance of global solidarity as well as strong, sustainable health systems more broadly.”

Ebola cases have been reported in Mbandaka city and neighboring Bikoro Health Zone in Equateur Province.

However, a recent genetic sequence analysis has found that the newly-identified Ebola virus in the Equateur Province is different from the version found in the 10th outbreak.

“We are not surprised to find no link between the current outbreak in Mbandaka and the two previous ones. The ongoing Ebola outbreaks are far apart and there is a flight ban in place due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, on June 9, 2020.

The WHO is supporting the DRC government-led response with more than 50 staff already deployed and more than 5,000 vaccinations already administered.

Vax-Before-Travel publishes Ebola outbreak news.