Since the outbreak erupted in August, a massive response effort has built up around the epicenters in eastern North Kivu and Ituri provinces. But a lesser-known parallel effort is also underway – within Congo but also in neighboring countries
Public health workers have mounted an unprecedented effort to counter misinformation, saying the success or failure of the Ebola response may pivot on who controls the narrative.
This Ebola virus outbreak has now taken more than 370 lives, and one of its most troubling aspects in addition to ongoing security concerns is that most cases are not linked to a known chain of transmission.
When surveyed in 2017, 14 percent of US hospital administrators felt their facilities were unprepared for a patient with Ebola or an EID. Conversely, 71 percent of US hospital administrators reported that their facilities were unprepared to receive an Ebola patient in 2014.
In its daily update, the Democratic republic of Congo Health Ministry said protests in Beni and Butembo severely disrupted the Ebola response, hampering vaccination, safe burials, and lab functions in Beni, and the usual volume of follow-up on health alerts.
Since the outbreak was declared in August, health officials have recorded 583 confirmed and suspected cases as of December 25. About a third of the patients have recovered, while 354 have died.
A toxic blend of factors – internal displacement, violent attacks, mistrust of aid and the long-delayed presidential elections – has helped spread Ebola in North Kivu, a province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With more than 500 confirmed cases and 300 deaths, the current outbreak has become the worst in the nation’s history.
Outbreak logisticians are the people who supply the response teams, who find them beds to fall into at the end of exhausting days, and food to sustain them and vehicles to transport them.
To contain an ebola outbreak, it’s crucial that 100% of the contact list is documented and tracked. If this is broken, then a spread should be expected.
Healthcare workers have been attacked, vaccination campaigns halted, and experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were recalled from an outbreak zone due to security fears. This is all despite the DRC hosting the UN’s largest peacekeeping force.