Congratulations DR Congo! Today you reached 42 days since the last case of Ebola, signaling the end of the outbreaksteemCreated with Sketch.

in africa •  4 months ago

Image credit: Wikimedia

In public health bad news has a tendency to comes all at once, while good news takes time. This is an example of the later.

When the latest Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the 8th of May 1 many were dreading another long drawn out disease management campaign similar to that of the 2014/15 outbreak that saw 28,616 cases of the disease and 11,310 deaths 2.

With this current outbreak occurring simultaneously in both a rural and an urban location the threat of this turning into another international pandemic was very possible. However, with the quick response from the WHO and the incredible work of the local DRC health system this outbreak appears to have been control with relatively few cases and loss of life (53 cases and 29 deaths3).

Not out of the woods just yet but 42 days marks two incubation periods of the Ebola virus, usually the bench mark for the official end of an outbreak so it's looking very encouraging.

Thank you to @HelenBranswell from @statnews for informing me of this wonderful news on my twitter feed today. By the way, Helen is very much worth a follow if public health is your bag.

Image source

Short post today as there’s not a great deal to the story that I haven’t already covered here and here in my previous posts on the outbreak, apart from maybe the effectiveness related to the new Ebola vaccine. This is unclear at this time however it'd be nice to know how much of a role this played in the control effort.

I should have a longer research heavy post out in the next couple of days, I just thought I’d share this with you all as it really is lovely news.

About me

My name is Richard, I blog under the name of @nonzerosum. I’m a PhD student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I write mostly on Global Health, Effective Altruism and The Psychology of Vaccine Hesitancy. If you’d like to read more on these topics in the future follow me here on steemit or on twitter @RichClarkePsy.


[1] World Health Organisation: New Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of the Congo

[2] World Health Organisation: Ebola outbreak 2014-2015

[3] World Health Organisation: Ebola situation report

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Just 42 days ?
Damn . Thank goodness anyways


There was an outbreak declared in May. 42 days since the last case however indicates the end of the outbreak. I suppose if you didn't hear about the outbreak when it started the title here might come across as bad news. Lucky escape this one.

Changed to title accordingly


I did hear about it. I stay in Nigeria.

Is it just my bad memory or were there reports that this Ebola outbreak was slightly mutated from previous versions?


I've not seen any thing about that. I'd be very suprised (and terrified) if it had!

That is good news. Feel guilty I lost track of the latest Ebola outbreak. I love that effective altruism--both parts, being altruistic and being effective :)


No need to feel guilty, thats the whole point of public health, when it's going well it's one less thing to worry about in life!

Yes it was very much a penny drop moment when I heard the term for the first time. It gave a label to so many things I'd been thinking about, its a way of being skeptical of charities but not cynical (such a hard line to walk!). This ted talk by a the philosopher Peter Singer is great if you'd like to learn and think more about the term.


Thank you for the reference. I will listen to it.

Thanks for delivering this good news. I'm happy you take a special interest in tropical diseases, and I hope you find a sense of fulfilment in making others happy.

I went through your previous posts to find the "snappy" name of the ebola vaccine-rVSV-ZEBOV. Do you know what phase of the clinical trial the drug is currently in?

Also do well to let me know when it gets a less snappy

A big thanks for sponsoring me into SBI.


I'm guessing the vaccine is in phase 4 (sort of). It's a little weird with this one. Most of the early work was done around 20 years ago, when the 2014/15 pandemic hit they went into trialling it. It was used extensively in this outbreak as a control stratagem, my guess is that will continue to be the way it's used, I'd be surprised if it ended up being a stranded vaccine like measles.

No problem, its a win/win!


I guess we'll have to wait another 10 to 20 years...

Huuuffffsssss 😷😷😷🤕
Ebola virus, a virus that can take away our lives.