BRAZZAVILLE, 9 June (IRIN) - An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the northern region of the Republic of Congo may be under control as there have been no deaths since 26 May, a health official said.
"To declare an end to the epidemic we will have to wait until 17 June, which is 21 days after the last death," Jean-Vivien Mombouli, an adviser to the Congolese Ministry of Health, told IRIN on Wednesday.
He said the ministry was optimistic that no more people would be infected.
Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, according to UN World Health Organization (WHO). It is transmitted through body fluids and tissue of people and chimpanzees.
Ten people died of the disease in May in the districts of Etoumbi and Mbomo in the northern Cuvette-Ouest Region.
On 23 May, the government and WHO announced they had quarantined the two districts.
Mombouli said a team of medical experts was "still following the condition of 12 people who came in contact with the last person to die [of the disease]".
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