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DRC's twelfth Ebola outbreak

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Twelfth outbreak declared over in North Kivu province

On 7 February 2021, DRC declared an outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu province, in the country's northeast; after three months, and 42 days after the last patient returned a negative test, the outbreak was declared over on 3 May 2021.

North Kivu – along with South Kivu and Ituri provinces – was the location of the country’s devastating tenth outbreak, between August 2018 and June 2020, in which 3,470 cases were recorded and 2,287 people died. It was DRC’s largest-ever outbreak of the disease.

DRC's 12th outbreak - information as of 3 May 2021; figures provided by DRC Ministry of Health via WHO.


The outbreak was located in the health zones near the city of Butembo. The number of cases was small; only a dozen recorded cases. Vaccination of contacts, and contacts of contacts – using the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine – took place, with thousands of people vaccinated.

No new cases of Ebola were reported after 1 March and the last patient left a treatment centre in Katwa on 21 March.

Although this outbreak is now over, it is important to maintain vigilance against a resurgence of Ebola.

MSF response

MSF teams responded to the outbreak in Matanda hospital, in Katwa health zone, and in Katitumba hospital, in Butembo health zone. Support included providing medical supplies, training staff, and constructing and rehabilitating infrastructures to isolate suspected and confirmed patients.  

In addition, we provided social support to high-risk contacts so they can be followed-up by the response team. Our activities focused on supporting existing health facilities, preparing local health system teams to respond autonomously to possible future epidemics.

Previous outbreaks

Read more on DRC's tenth outbreak, in the country's northeast. DRC's eleventh outbreak was located in Équateur province, in the northwest.

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Democratic Republic of Congo
Press Release 30 October 2021