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Congo Ebola Outbreak Will Continue For At Least 6 Months, WHO Official Predicts; Merck Takes Next Step In Regulatory Review Process For Experimental Vaccine

Associated Press: WHO official predicts 6 more months battling Ebola in Congo
“The emergencies chief for the World Health Organization predicted Tuesday that Congo’s Ebola outbreak will last at least another six months, saying that informal health facilities have become ‘major drivers’ of the current, deadly transmission. … In some cases, people appeared to have contracted Ebola while visiting the centers for other health concerns, [Peter] Salama said. He described the ‘tradi-modern’ centers as popular but unregulated neighborhood facilities that vary from stand-alone structures to ‘just a room in someone’s house’…” (11/13).

CIDRAP News: As outbreak area expands, DRC Ebola total climbs to 339
“Over the past week, three health zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported their first confirmed Ebola cases, a worrisome sign that the outbreak is spreading to new areas, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) African regional office said [Tuesday] in a weekly update…” (Schnirring, 11/13).

STAT: Merck takes key step toward approval of experimental Ebola vaccine
“Merck said Tuesday that it has begun the process of submitting the evidence it will use to seek approval for its experimental Ebola vaccine, a crucial step in the drug maker’s long effort to bring the vaccine to market. The company said it hopes to complete the filing process sometime next year…” (Branswell, 11/13).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from BMJ, Reuters, and VOA News.

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