NAIROBI, Kenya — The second-worst Ebola outbreak in history is over, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, after nearly two years and 2,280 deaths.
Efforts to fight the outbreak in eastern Congo were hampered by mistrust from community members, feuds between government officials, attacks on health care facilities and the emergence of new hot spots. The announcement came even as the country contended with the world’s largest measles epidemic as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
The response drew on 16,000 front-line workers, technological innovation and a new vaccine. Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever that is transmitted through contact with sick or dead people or animals, causes fever, bleeding, weakness and abdominal pain. The average fatality rate is about half. This was Congo’s 10th known outbreak.
“It wasn’t easy,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O. regional director for Africa, said of fighting the virus. “At times it seemed like a mission impossible. Ending this Ebola outbreak is a sign of hope for the region and the world, that with solidarity and science and courage and commitment, even the most challenging epidemics can be controlled.”