ibusinesslines.com December 09, 2018

Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo now 2nd worst in history

01 December 2018, 05:18 | Melissa Porter

DR Congo Ebola outbreak second largest in history: WHO

Ebola outbreak kills 19 under one week in DR Congo

Dozens of armed rebel groups are active, and their deadly attacks have forced responders to pause crucial Ebola containment work for days.

But it is still much smaller than the epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 which killed 11,310 people.

It is not clear how many Centres for Disease Control and Prevention workers are now forced to tackle the outbreak from DRC's capital, Kinshasa, almost 1 600km away.

New statements in two top medical journals this week are calling on the U.S.to change its mind and send its experts back where they are sorely needed.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, one group noted that the USA government weeks ago ordered all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention personnel - "some of the world's most experienced outbreak experts" - from Congo's outbreak zone because of security concerns.

Previously, the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit was eligible for procurement to Ebola-affected countries, under the WHO Emergency Assessment.

Despite its conclusion, the committee emphasized in a statement that the Congolese government, World Health Organization and partners "must intensify the current response" to the ongoing outbreak and that this "should be supported by the entire global community", or "the situation is likely to deteriorate significantly". The CDC supports the expertise of the State Department and Department of Defense "in determining locations where it is safe to position our staff". If malaria is reduced, health workers will be able to focus on real Ebola patients and keep others away from the wards. Teams with the WHO and Congo's health ministry venture out on virus containment missions accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers or other armed security in areas where gunfire echoes daily.

Last month, the WHO heeded the recommendation of an expert advisory committee to not declare the Democratic Republic of the Congo's latest Ebola epidemic a public health emergency of worldwide concern - a proclamation that would have mobilized more resources and garnered global attention. The trial is the first-ever multi drug trial for treatment of Ebola.

It's the deadliest outbreak of the disease in DRC history and second deadliest globally, the World Health Organization said. That's not a welcome thought to neighboring Uganda and Rwanda.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) stated this in a statement released on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

This is the 10th outbreak since 1976 in Congo, according to the health ministry, where the disease is endemic and the second this year.

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