DRC Ebola Screeners Boost Surveillance Following WHO’s Emergency Declaration For Outbreak

Al Jazeera: DRC health workers optimistic after WHO’s Ebola announcement
“…Health workers in the DRC have expressed optimism over the World Health Organization’s decision to declare Ebola a public health emergency of international concern, hoping the move will help with getting more resources needed to fight the disease…” (Soi, 7/19).

Bloomberg: Ebola Screeners Boost Surveillance as Outbreak Becomes Emergency
“Authorities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo intensified efforts to screen suspected cases of Ebola as the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency…” (Ssuuna, 7/18).

CIDRAP News: Ebola cases climb in Beni as groups laud emergency decision
“…After [Wednesday’s] PHEIC announcement, several international non-governmental organizations and public health institutions applauded the WHO’s decision. ‘Ending the Ebola outbreak is one of the Trump administration’s top global health priorities,’ said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)…” (Soucheray, 7/18).

Reuters: WHO flags Ebola risk in Rwanda, but then withdraws its report
“The World Health Organization on Thursday withdrew a report that said an Ebola patient may have entered Rwanda, suggesting the deadly virus could spread to that country for the first time. The report, and others written by Uganda’s Health Ministry and published as daily updates by the WHO’s Africa office, detailed the case of a Congolese fishmonger who died of Ebola after going to Uganda and vomiting four times. … [WHO] said late on Thursday that several of the reports had been removed. The website where they were posted was also disabled. ‘Two situation reports … have erroneously included unverified information,’ the statement said…” (Miles et al., 7/18).

The Telegraph: Ebola has been raging in DRC for 12 months: why is it proving so hard to control?
“…To bring the outbreak under control experts say that 70 percent of patients should be treated within three days of displaying symptoms. Treatment times are currently nowhere near this because people are still not coming forward quickly enough — and this is mainly due to a lack of trust. … ‘To build trust we must demonstrate we are not parachuting in to deal with Ebola and leaving once it’s finished,’ [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] told [Wednesday’s] meeting in Geneva…” (Gulland, 7/18).

Washington Post: WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in Congo a global health emergency. Here’s what that means.
“…Experts say the next step will probably be a pledging conference, which will convene the WHO, World Bank, United Nations, United States, Britain and other major donor countries to commit funds to stopping the crisis. … Not everyone is happy about the declaration. Congo’s government raised concerns about affixing the emergency label to the outbreak, fearing it could generate paranoia and damage trade and travel. … WHO officials called on neighboring countries Wednesday to keep their borders open after the emergency declaration. … [I]t’s unclear whether an emergency declaration will prove more effective at nipping Ebola in the bud this time around. … Armed conflict further complicates the response to this outbreak…” (Parker, 7/18).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Al Jazeera, Associated Press, The Atlantic, The Economist, Fox News, NPR, PRI, and Reuters.

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