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Ebola Vaccinations Begin In Congo Outbreak; Health Workers Stress Need For Holistic Prevention Strategies

Associated Press: 1 new Ebola death confirmed in Congo, bringing total to 12
“Another person has died in Congo of a confirmed case of Ebola, bringing the number of fatalities from the latest outbreak to 12, the country’s health ministry said Sunday. … Congo now has 35 confirmed Ebola cases…” (Mwanamilongo, 5/28).

Associated Press: Ebola vaccinations begin in Congo’s northwest town of Bikoro
“Officials began vaccinating health workers and others on Monday in Bikoro, where Congo’s current Ebola outbreak was first declared at the beginning of May. Congo’s Health Minister Oly Ilunga traveled to oversee the Ebola vaccinations of at least 10 people in Bikoro, where at least five of 12 Ebola deaths have happened…” (Mwanamilongo, 5/28).

The Atlantic: Vaccines Alone Won’t Beat Ebola
“A deep understanding of the Congo’s culture and time-honored public health tactics are the keys to controlling the outbreak…” (Yong, 5/24).

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola response faces community resistance as report analyzes U.S. policy
“Ebola responders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are revealing more about local practices and community mistrust, which in some instances are hampering the actions needed to curb the spread of the disease in the country’s outbreak hot spots. In another development, Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) [Friday] said the United States is playing a less prominent role in the response, a sign that suggests the international response is more prepared to tackle such outbreaks but also raises questions about the nation’s mixed signals regarding global health security…” (Schnirring, 5/25).

Devex: DRC Ebola response focuses on awareness campaigns, border controls
“As humanitarian workers gain steam in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in western part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo — which has left 27 dead — a multi-pronged containment effort and new rounds of funding hope to prevent the highly contagious virus from spreading to the capital, Kinshasa, or to other neighboring countries…” (Roby, 5/25).

IRIN: Congo Ebola outbreak offers first test for emergency fund to prevent pandemics
“A new financial mechanism that frees up emergency funding to ward off a pandemic has been activated for the first time, in response to an outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Efforts to halt the outbreak received an injection of $12 million from the new World Bank fund and, if Ebola spreads to other countries and infects more people, hundreds of millions more could be released from a sister insurance scheme…” (Parker, 5/28).

Reuters: WHO’s Congo Ebola plan assumes 100-300 cases over three months
“The World Health Organization assumes 100-300 cases of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo between May and July, under a revised response plan to the outbreak that it published on Tuesday…” (Miles, 5/29).

Washington Times: CDC officials take precautions as Ebola outbreak spreads
“With Ebola once again flaring up in an African country, U.S. health officials have briefed border officers about potential danger from travelers, and U.S. airports are beginning to issue warnings about the deadly disease. Authorities say there’s no immediate danger and they’re better prepared should the outbreak begin to spread beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo. But the briefings and precautions are part of an effort to get out in front of the risks…” (Howell, 5/28).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak, including prevention and vaccination efforts, is available from Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, BBC News, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, The Economist, Financial Times, The Lancet, New York Times, Reuters, Science, STAT, VOA News (2), and Vox.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.