DRC Ebola Outbreak Passes 2K Cases With Quickening Pace; U.N., Aid Agencies Working To Quell Violence, Mistrust

Associated Press: Alarm as Ebola outbreak reaches 2,000 cases, picks up speed
“The deadly Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo has surpassed 2,000 cases and is picking up speed. The number of confirmed cases reached the milestone three times as quickly as it took to reach 1,000, experts said Tuesday. The outbreak declared in August, the second-deadliest in history, has killed more than 1,300 people in a volatile region where rebel attacks and community resistance have hurt containment efforts…” (Keaten, 6/4).

CIDRAP News: Aid groups weigh in on DRC topping 2,000 Ebola cases
“…Officials said that, although the landmark is concerning, the health ministry sees some positive signs, including a slight improvement in the security situation, though the situation remains volatile and unpredictable. … With persistent mistrust and insecurity hampering daily response activities, the current total is probably an undercount, the [International Rescue Committee (IRC)] warned. … In a statement …, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) … called for a response restart…” (Schnirring, 6/4).

NPR: An Urgent Mystery: Who’s Attacking Ebola Responders In Congo — And Why?
“David Gressly is not a medical expert. But he’s just taken on what has to be one of the toughest jobs in global health. On May 23 the United Nation’s Secretary General named Gressly to a newly created position overseeing the organization’s effort to stop the ten-month long Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo. (His official title is UN Emergency Ebola Coordinator.) … Reached by phone in Congo, Gressly said that understanding the dynamics driving the violence will be ‘essential’ to his mission: ‘It’s important to figure that out at a detailed, granular level.’ … What are those reasons? Gressly laid out several theories…” (Aizenman, 6/4).

Reuters: Congo Ebola infections exceed 2,000 as new case rate triples
“…Responders face twin obstacles: resistance from communities who believe that Ebola is a conspiracy made up by aid agencies and the government, and from armed groups seeking to stoke instability for their own gain. … ‘Every time there [is] an incident … we are not able to provide services and go into communities. We are not able to vaccinate, not able to treat those who are ill, we are not able to follow up on those who may have been exposed to the virus,’ said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic” (Mahamba et al., 6/4).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak and response is available from Al Jazeera, BBC News, Becker’s Hospital Review, Bloomberg, Deutsche Welle, Nature, New Humanitarian (2), Reuters, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and VOA News.

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