DRC Faces Threat Of Ebola Becoming Endemic; Redoubling Of Outbreak Control Efforts In Communities Needed
The Hill: Ebola in the DRC: One Year, 2000 deaths and counting
Amesh Adalja, physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
“In recent days the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), though only occasionally meriting headlines in American newspapers, achieved a new milestone: The death toll has now surpassed 2,000 and the case count stands over 3,000. If this outbreak, which has been designated by many experts as the most difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in history, continues to simmer along uninterrupted as it has for over a year, the DRC is facing the real threat of endemicity, a chronic continual transmission of Ebola. Were this to occur, even though Ebola would not find high-income countries hospitable, the biosecurity of the world would be severely diminished. … There are no easy answers to stopping this outbreak as its complexity doesn’t lend itself to a silver bullet solution. No vaccine or antiviral can carry the burden alone. What is needed is the ability to perform basic public health functions free from violence. This includes a redoubling of efforts to engage the community and educate them about the threat of Ebola, its symptoms, how it spreads, how it is treated, the power of the vaccine, and myriad other questions that might arise. This formula has stopped every Ebola outbreak in history — and it can stop the current outbreak — but only if adequate resources, expertise, and attention are directed at to this precarious situation” (8/30).