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DRC Ebola Outbreak Continues To Grow; WHO Official Urges World To Prioritize Response

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola cases approach 500 as infections continue
“Over the weekend and through [Monday] the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) reported 13 new Ebola cases in several outbreak areas, as neighboring South Sudan prepared to vaccinate health care and frontline workers in bordering regions. … In its Dec. 8 update, the DRC health ministry added eight older cases to the total, part of ongoing efforts to clean up the database. That and the new cases lifts the overall outbreak total to 498 cases, 450 of them confirmed and 48 listed as probable…” (Schnirring, 12/10).

Science: Ebola vaccine is having ‘major impact’ but Congo outbreak may still explode
“…More than 40,000 people have received the vaccine, by far the largest use of it since a trial in 2015 showed it worked well. The vaccine’s effectiveness in this outbreak has not been formally assessed. But Peter Salama, who heads the Ebola response for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, says, ‘I think it’s having a major impact.’ … Salama estimates that even in a best-case scenario the outbreak will run another six months. And it could be far worse. ‘This is the kind of massive, massive priority that the whole world should be very much focused on and willing to contribute to solving'” (Cohen, 12/10).