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After a three month battle, DR Congo is now Ebola free

The country’s health minister said this does not mean they are completely out of danger.

Image: Michael Duff/PA

THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of Congo today declared itself Ebola-free, after a three-month outbreak of the killer disease claimed at least 49 lives.

The DRC outbreak, which began in August, involved a different strain of Ebola from the one that has claimed more than 5,100 lives in west Africa.

“The end of the epidemic… does not mean we are completely out of danger,” said DRC Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi. “Like every other nation, the DRC remains threatened by the possible import of the Ebola virus disease raging in west Africa.”

The all-clear in the DR Congo came 42 days after the last recorded case of the virus, which has a 21-day incubation period.

The outbreak raging in west Africa stems from the Zaire species — the deadliest of the five known distinct species — which caused the world’s first known Ebola outbreak in 1976 in what is now known as the DRC.

Until now that outbreak was the deadliest on record, with 280 deaths.

The disease takes its name from the DRC’s Ebola River.

- © AFP 2014.

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