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CDC Sends 12 Employees To DRC’s Goma After City Records Additional Ebola Cases; Security Issues Hamper More Robust U.S., WHO Response; Questions Raised Over World Bank’s Pandemic Bonds

Associated Press: 1-year-old daughter, wife of Congo’s Goma victim have Ebola
“The wife and 1-year-old daughter of the man who died of Ebola in Goma this week have tested positive for the disease, health officials confirmed Thursday, the first transmission of the virus inside the densely populated crossroads city on the border with Rwanda, a scenario that health experts have long feared…” (Mwanamilongo/Ssuuna, 8/1).

Devex: WHO calls for return to basics to fight DRC Ebola crisis
“The ongoing Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo requires a review of the basics to prevent the crisis from escalating, World Health Organization experts said on Thursday at a press briefing in New York. … [I]mproved core response techniques, such as proper surveillance and monitoring systems, are still needed to boost vaccination rates and treat all infected people, [David Gressly, WHO’s Ebola emergency response coordinator,] explained. Timely delivery of funding and a coordinated effort, beyond the work of WHO, are also key, Gressly said, noting that ‘this is no longer a WHO-led effort. All of the agencies that have something to contribute have come together’…” (Lieberman, 8/2).

The Hill: Ebola outbreak highlights global rise in epidemics
“…[The DRC Ebola] outbreak — which as of Wednesday had infected more than 2,700 people and killed two-thirds of them — is just one of a troubling spread of viral epidemics happening around the world. Some say the spread of preventable diseases is a worrying trend in a turbulent world, in which public health is among the first victims of both crumbling institutions and popular mistrust of expert opinion…” (Wilson, 8/1).

NBC News: Fear, violence and distrust hamper U.S. involvement in Ebola outbreak
“Ongoing violence, community resistance, and mistrust of health care workers are hampering efforts by the U.S. government to send a robust team of experts to the Democratic Republic of Congo to assist in the Ebola outbreak that has now been raging for a year. … ‘We’re anxious to get on the ground in the outbreak areas, but there are security concerns,’ Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC’s division of preparedness and emerging infections, told reporters on a conference call Thursday. … Walke said the CDC plans to double the number of staff in Congo over the next month, but is watching the security situation closely…” (Edwards, 8/1).

Reuters: Pandemic bonds face scrutiny after Ebola outbreak yet to trigger payout
“World Bank funding instruments issued to help emerging countries swiftly tackle pandemics have come under the spotlight after the latest deadly Ebola outbreak has yet to trigger a payout. … Payouts are triggered once a virus outbreak crosses an international border and claims at least 20 lives in each of at least two countries. The virus has killed more than 1,800 people in Democratic Republic of Congo and two in neighboring Uganda — meaning the threshold for payouts have not been reached. … [Michael Bennett, head of derivatives and structured finance at the World Bank’s capital markets division,] said the pandemic facility had been very specifically designed to insure against cross-border events rather than single-country outbreaks. But with the instruments due to mature next summer, the bank is examining possible changes to the structure, for instance, seeking out a cost-efficient way of insuring single-country events, he said…” (Strohecker, 8/1).

VOA News: CDC Sends More Ebola Staffers to Congo Border
“…Twelve CDC employees will go to Goma, a major transit city near the Congolese border with Rwanda. … CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said Thursday on Twitter that armed conflict was hampering health officials’ attempts to manage the outbreak, ‘increas[ing] the risk of disease spread.’ … The CDC said it is working with the U.S. State Department to determine if it is safe to send more U.S. health workers to areas outside Goma…” (Kasereka/Muhero, 8/1).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Associated Press, Axios, Bloomberg, The BMJ, CIDRAP News, CNN, Deutsche Welle, The Economist (2), The Hill, New Humanitarian, Newsweek, New York Times, PRI, Reuters (2), The Telegraph, VOA News, Washington Times, and Xinhua News.