Democratic Republic of the Congo is free from Ebola virus disease



The Ministry of health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 25 June 2020 declared the end of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu, Ituri and South Kivu Provinces (1).


In accordance with WHO recommendations(2), the declaration was made more than 42 days after the last person who contracted EVD in this outbreak tested negative twice and was discharged from care.


The outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018 following investigations and laboratories confirmation of a cluster of EVD cases in North Kivu Provinces. In 2019, the outbreak spread and in July, the WHO Director-General declared the outbreak of Public Health Emergency of International Concern (3).


From 1 August 2018 to 25 June 2020 a total of 3470 EVD cases were reported from 29 health zones including 3317 confirmed cases and 153 probable cases. Of the total confirmed and probable  cases 57% (n=1974) were female,  29% (n=1006)  were children  aged less than 18 years, and 5% (n=171) were health care workers.


A total of 2287 deaths were recorded (overall case fatality ratio 66%), 33% (1152/3470) of cases died outside of Ebola treatment centres, and 1171 cases recovered from EVD. Over the  course  of the   outbreaks, more than 250 000 contacts of cases were registered in North Kivu, Ituri and  South Kivu Provinces. 


The response to the  outbreak  was led by the Ministry of Health with support  from WHO and partners in the areas of surveillance, contact tracing, laboratory services,  infection  prevention and control (IPC), clinical management, community  engagement, safe and dignified burials, response  coordination, and preparedness activities in neighbouring provinces.


The engagement of local leaders, communities and survivors in EVD survivor care programs and community messaging played a central role in curtailing the outbreak. Challenges in establishing trust with affected communities, reticence for admission to Ebola treatment facilities, a high level of insecurity due to the presence of armed groups in the affected areas, as well as a series of attacks against health workers, contributed to the difficulty of containing this outbreak.


Under the Consolidation and Stabilization Strategic Plan adopted by the Ministry of Health, enhanced surveillance, a long-term program for Ebola survivor care, and other response mechanisms remain in place following the end of the outbreak declaration to maintain increased vigilance and contribute to strengthening and resilience of the local health systems.


Given that EVD is likely to persist in an animal reservoir in DRC, a new zoonotic spillover event may occur. Moreover, an EVD cluster may also occur from exposure to body fluids of survivors, although the probability of this will reduce over time.




For more information:




-     Statement   on the meeting   of  the  International Health  Regulations  (2005) Emergency  Committee for EVD in the DRC on 26 June 2020

-     Resources for media

-     WHO resources and information on EVD

-     WHO resources and information on Ebola survivors

-     Ebola response funding   







  1. ebola-outbreak-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-de- clared-over-vigilance-against-flare-ups-and-support-for-survi- vors-must-continue
  2. mended-criteria-for-declaring-the-end-of-the-ebola-virus-di- sease-outbreak
  3. la-outbreak-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-decla- red-a-public-health-emergency-of-international-concern




Source: World Health Organization


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