The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene an Emergency Committee on Friday, May 18, to consider the international risks of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
One new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of nearly 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The 4,000 doses will be sent to the remote northwest where two confirmed Ebola cases, 20 probable ones and 20 suspected ones have been reported; while an additional 4,000 doses will be deployed in the coming days with more available if needed.
The Global Health Security Agenda’s Joint External Evaluation (JEE) is used as an evaluation tool to help countries assess their preparedness capacity for pandemics. Of the 27 countries with completed JEEs, only two have used the results generated to develop costed plans.
Uganda has started screening for Ebola at a Congolese refugee settlement in the mid-western part of the east African country.
Researchers designed a rapid assay for detection of Ebola virus using recombinase polymerase amplification.
In the week since the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new Ebola outbreak, health officials have set in motion a plan to distribute an experimental vaccine, logistics experts have established an airbridge to ferry responders and equipment into the epicenter, and the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has arrived to take stock.
The plan is to employ a ring vaccination approach, vaccinating anyone who has been in contact with a case to prevent continuing spread of the virus.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported 39 suspected, probable, or confirmed cases of Ebola between April 4 and May 13, including 19 deaths.
Cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in an area of Congo that is facing an Ebola outbreak as early as December, while the first deaths were reported in January.