Ebola outbreak ends in Congo

A small flare-up of the Ebola virus has been contained in an eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), international health officials said Monday.

The 12th known Ebola epidemic in the DRC led to 12 infections and six deaths in the North Kivu Province. But no new cases have been recorded in the last 42 days, designating the epidemic’s official end.

The first case in this outbreak occurred in a woman whose husband survived Ebola in 2018 after scientists learned the virus stayed in the husband’s system.

Genetic sequencing showed the virus was linked to a previous outbreak that tore through North Kivu and a neighboring province beginning in 2018. That outbreak killed more than 2,000 people in what became the second-largest Ebola epidemic in modern history.

The CDC said in a statement it had helped the Ministry of Health establish a mobile genetic sequencing lab in Goma to help understand more about the ability of the virus to survive for long periods of time even in people who have recovered.