The last known patient in Congo's eastern outbreak was released in mid-May but the country now must go about another month without any new cases before an official end to the outbreak can be declared. They know how to respond. Mbandaka is 1,000 km (620 miles) from an ongoing outbreak that has killed over 2,200 people in North Kivu province by the Uganda border, where containment efforts have been hampered by armed conflict.
"Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighboring countries, we must act quickly", Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in a statement.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of worldwide concern in July 2019, after the highly contagious virus threatened to spread to the large city of Goma and neighbouring countries. They started the response at the local level yesterday (Sunday),' Longondo said.
The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever and is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, who suffers severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
Officials had hoped to be able to proclaim the outbreak over on June 25.
No coronavirus cases have been reported in Equateur province.
The country is also facing a measles outbreak which has killed more than 6,000 people since early a year ago, as well as recurring flare-ups of cholera and malaria.
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