As DRC Ebola Outbreak Grows, Congress Hears Testimony On Response, IMF Signals Readiness, WHO Makes Vaccination Plan

CIDRAP News: Beni Ebola activity tops first wave as outbreak grows by 8 cases
“A second wave of Ebola activity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) city of Beni has now topped its first wave, and the area has become a source of spread to other areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its weekly snapshot of outbreak activity [Thursday]. … The current wave of infections in Beni has involved more cases and is now longer than the initial wave in that region, early in the outbreak, which began almost a year ago…” (Schnirring, 7/25).

Homeland Preparedness News: Ebola outbreak in DRC requires coordinated response to contain disease, witnesses tell Congress
“…During a hearing titled, ‘Confronting Ebola: Addressing a 21st Century Global Health Crisis,’ witnesses discussed the continuing outbreak before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy. The increasing number of deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are concerning, the panel said, but largely contained. The hearing came one week after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern…” (Carey, 7/25).

Reuters: IMF says ready to aid Congo in Ebola crisis if needed
“The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday it had ample scope to provide financial support to Congo if it needs help dealing with an Ebola outbreak that has been declared an international health emergency…” (Shalal, 7/25).

Reuters: Deployment of second Ebola vaccine would not be quick fix, experts warn
“The resignation of Congo’s health minister in the midst of the country’s worst Ebola outbreak could clear the way for a second experimental vaccine to be deployed. But the new shot would likely take months to win the trust of frightened locals and show results, health officials say…” (Mahamba et al., 7/25).

STAT: WHO, preparing for the worst, makes plans for reduced doses of Ebola vaccine
“The World Health Organization is drawing up plans to use reduced doses of Ebola vaccine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the event that supplies in the long-running outbreak run short, according to the head of the WHO’s health emergencies programs…” (Branswell, 7/26).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Agence France-Presse, Associated Press (2), The Lancet, Los Angeles Times, PRI, Washington Post, and Xinhua News.

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