Ebola outbreak nears end after 19 months

The last known Ebola patient in the Democratic Republic of Congo was discharged from a treatment center March 3, marking a major milestone in the 19-monthlong outbreak, reports ABC News.

The patient lives in the city of Beni, which has been the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak. Health workers at the treatment center are still monitoring 46 people who had close contact with the woman for signs of infection.

Health officials can officially declare the outbreak over when no infections occur for 42 days after the last reported case tests negative. March 4 marks the 15th consecutive day without any new cases.

"I applaud the tireless efforts that have been made to respond to this outbreak, and I'm truly encouraged by the news that the last Ebola patient has left the treatment center healthy," Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa, said in a statement cited by ABC News. "It is not yet the end of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We must stay vigilant in the coming weeks and beyond."

Ebola has sickened more than 3,300 people since the outbreak began in August 2018, making it the second largest Ebola outbreak in history.

More articles on public health:
Alabama city rejects federal plan to bring in coronavirus patients
55% of New York City, Long Island residents say they would get coronavirus vaccine
HHS allocates $117M to fight HIV epidemic

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.