No Ebola infections reported in Congo since Oct. 4

An MSF staff member at the Boende Ebola treatment center in the Congo
An MSF staff member at the Boende Ebola treatment center in the Congo | Gabriele François Casini/MSF

It appears that the outbreak of Ebola that began in August in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has diminished, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said on Monday.

After deploying 70 personnel members to address the outbreak, with no cases being reported a large number of MSF staff will be sent elsewhere. The only few remaining will oversee and observe whether signs start to show up again. Out of the outbreak's 66 infections, 49 died, the World Health Organization reported.

"At MSF, we try our best to ensure an effective and forceful response in the event of a new outbreak," José Mas, coordinator of MSF's intervention said. "In Congo, we have worked with local authorities to maintain an operational treatment center in Equateur. We have also made a donation of medicines and equipment for water and sanitation, and the staff is the same that has worked during this last outbreak, so they are properly trained."

An Ebola intervention effort's end has two phases. The first is a 21-day period following the last infection where that individual's contacts are traced. An additional 21-day period is needed to ensure that there are no new infections.

During the time of the intervention effort, MSF staff were on hand for treatment, information and outreach, contact tracing, disinfecting houses and buildings, and overseeing safe burial practices.

Unlike the Ebola outbreak happening in West Africa, this outbreak is more of a classic example of an outbreak, as they have historically occurred in remote areas.

Mas said the effort to fight this outbreak was timed well.

"Containment measures such as contact tracing, an alert system and the medical care of the patients were taken at the right time," he said.

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Doctors Without Borders

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