In recent weeks, more than 40 percent of new cases in the hotspot towns of Katwa and Butembo had no known links to other cases, meaning doctors have lost track of where the virus is spreading.
There's growing concern that the very steps the government and the World Health Organization are taking to curb the rising violence from organized groups — for instance, bringing in military, police and UN peacekeepers to provide protection — could sow further mistrust and fuel additional resistance from ordinary people.
Officials say many in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are mistrustful of health workers and resist their help — sometimes violently. Aid groups are proposing strategies to win people over.
Researchers are now able to take advantage of mobile technologies that can mimic viral properties and combine them with people’s thirst for adventure games. Which means that every student body, housing complex, and workplace could prepare for the public health and sociological implications of an outbreak.
The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program was started during the Cold War to create a group of people who could be quickly deployed to halt outbreaks such as those from, for example, biological weapons. When a health department requests urgent help from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least one EIS officer and/or other subject-matter experts travel to the front line.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 40 per cent of new cases are people who died of Ebola in the communities. At the epicenter of the epidemic, in Katwa and Butembo, 43 per cent of patients in the last three weeks were still being infected without known links to other cases.
Some weeks ago, as cases started erupting around two towns, Katwa and Butembo, the investigators found that patient after patient had something else in common: They had all recently visited a health clinic for treatment for some other disease.
Attackers set fire to an Ebola treatment centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo late on Sunday, February 24, forcing staff to evacuate patients, the charity said.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has teamed up with the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to collect, analyze and implement new strategies in "real time" to tackle the major concerns of people faced with the disease.
Researchers have begun asking the question of whether patients ought to be preemptively screened for diseases and other health problems after traveling overseas.