Ebola outbreak that killed 33 over, WHO reports

An Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that started May 8 and claimed 33 lives is now over, the World Health Organization reported July 24.

"The outbreak was contained due to the tireless efforts of local teams, the support of partners, the generosity of donors and the effective leadership of the Ministry of Health. That kind of leadership, allied with strong collaboration between partners, saves lives," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The outbreak spanned four locations, including an urban center with river connections to the capital and neighboring countries, and remote rainforest villages. Although officials were concerned the disease would spread to other parts of the Congo and to neighboring countries, Dr. Tedros said the DRC government and international community should build on the positive momentum created by this outbreak's quick containment.

"This effective response to Ebola should make the government and partners confident that other major outbreaks affecting the country such as cholera and polio can also be tackled," Dr. Tedros said. "We must continue to work together, investing in strengthened preparedness and access to healthcare for the most vulnerable."

Merck provided the vaccines used to protect over 3,300 people.

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