The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has reached a dangerous phase, with the response operation acknowledging it hasn’t got a full picture of where the virus is spreading in a large urban center.
The number of cases of Ebola has accelerated in the past two weeks. Half have been in and around Beni, where the response was disrupted last month by a period of official mourning following attacks by armed groups.
Right now the DRC is experiencing a world-first: an Ebola outbreak in a war zone. While disease hunters have learned a lot from previous tragedies, like the 2013 outbreak that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa, this is the one scenario no one’s been able to prepare for.
The Ebola response teams in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are having increasing trouble keeping track of where the virus is spreading, a problem that threatens containment efforts and undermines the effectiveness of the vaccination program there.
Health teams responding to Congo's latest Ebola outbreak are attacked three or four times a week on average, a level of violence unseen in the country's nine previous outbreaks of the deadly virus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was forced to withdraw its Ebola experts from an outbreak zone in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) amid heightened security concerns. The Ebola experts — among the most experienced on the planet — have been told by the State Department that they cannot travel to eastern DRC to help with the on-the-ground response.
High stakes drama is playing out almost daily as health workers and safe burial teams seek to win over communities who are deeply mistrustful of their intentions.
Participants focused on important areas to improve public health resilience to high-consequence infectious disease events, including governance and leadership, communication and public trust, quarantine and the law, monitoring programs, environmental decontamination, and waste management.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said September 25, that an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo could worsen rapidly because of attacks by armed groups, community resistance, and the geographic spread of the disease.
A Stanford University team working on the regulation of body temperature have created a cooling system that could double the amount of time workers can spend wearing protective suits.