The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have managed to rapidly set up an effective surveillance system. When the team arrived, there were 153 contacts listed for following - two weeks later there were 400 contacts listed with 94 percent being regularly monitored.
Lessons learned from past Ebola epidemics are helping to combat a fresh outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Investing in new vaccines, diagnostic tests and laboratories is paying off as expert networks spring into action.
In Republic of Congo, more than 50 government officials, NGOs, and international aid organizations participated in a five-day training program last week to prepare ministries in the event of a cross-border Ebola outbreak.
With no discernible roads, only dense bush, tracking the movements of a patient, suspected to be a carrier of the deadly Ebola virus, through the dense forests of the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo is not easy.
By iteratively pairing short-term spread forecasts with an allocation plan that adapts to the changing predictions, the model allows aid workers to see, as the crisis evolves, where medical personnel, equipment and treatment supplies should be distributed to offer the best chances of cutting off the epidemic.
The phylogenetic tree of the 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic doesn't just show how the Ebola virus was able to evolve: it also reveals which events and preventive measures accelerated or slowed down its spread, opening up new perspectives for the containment of epidemics.
Even if the vaccine helps, there are serious hurdles. The shots must be transported deep into forests with few paved roads without it spoiling in the heat, and health workers must identify and track down anyone who's had contact with a sick person and persuade them that shots pushed by foreigners could save their lives.
A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) water and sanitation expert, explains the challenges reponse teams are facing on the frontline of the ongoing Ebola outbreak.
As health care workers battle an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one important tool has been promising in preventing spread of the virus but can be difficult to carry out: contact tracing.
Medical investigators will need to overcome the rural region’s extreme logistical hurdles to reconstruct transmission chains, vaccinate contacts and halt the spread.