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DRC Ebola Outbreak Could Take Up To 4 Months To Control, Expert Says; WHO Preparing For All Scenarios As First Funding Pledges Announced

The Atlantic: The New Ebola Outbreak Could Take ‘Three, Maybe Four’ Months to Control
“The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently fighting its ninth Ebola outbreak — and Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum … the first scientist to encounter Ebola during the first-ever outbreak in 1976 … [said,] ‘I think we will need three months to control (this new) outbreak. Maybe four’…” (Yong, 5/11).

Bloomberg: WHO’s Leader Will Visit Congo This Weekend Amid Ebola Outbreak
“The World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus [visited] the Democratic Republic of Congo this weekend to assess the country’s needs as it faces an Ebola outbreak that was declared earlier this week, WHO said in a statement…” (Tam, 5/11).

Deutsche Welle: Ebola outbreak: WHO puts 10 countries on ‘high alert’
“The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said 10 countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its neighbors, have been put on high alert after local authorities declared an Ebola outbreak [last] week…” (5/11).

Devex: First pledges announced to combat Ebola in DRC
“…The United Kingdom government pledged 1 million British pounds ($1.36 million) on Thursday through the Joint Initiative on Epidemic Preparedness, with the Wellcome Trust committing a further 2 million pounds to support rapid response to the outbreak. … WHO released $1 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to support response over the next three months … On Wednesday, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention … activated its Emergency Operation Center … mobilized its epidemic response team … and set aside an initial $250,000 for response activities. U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock also announced $2 million from the U.N. Central Emergency Relief Fund to kickstart the response and support the DRC government…” (Abrahams/Anders, 5/11).

U.N. News: DR Congo: U.N. prepared for ‘all scenarios’ despite low risk of Ebola spreading
“…Peter Salama, who leads the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, said that WHO was preparing for all eventualities, speaking at a press conference in Geneva. To date there have been 32 suspected cases in and around Bikoro in remote Equateur Province — close to the Congo River — two confirmed by laboratory testing. There are 18 probable cases and a dozen classified as ‘suspicious,’ according to WHO…” (5/11).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak in DRC is available from CIDRAP News, CNN, HuffPost, and Reuters.