Experts At WHA Discuss DRC Ebola Outbreak As Cases Surpass 1.8K

CIDRAP News: Third burial team attacked in DRC, Ebola infects another health worker
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) ministry of health [Monday] reported an attack on a burial team working in Butembo, noting that police were slightly injured in the encounter. … Officials [were expected to] confirm 21 new cases of Ebola [Tuesday], raising outbreak total to 1,847. As of [Monday], there were 1,218 deaths in this outbreak, and another 245 suspected cases still under investigation…” (Schnirring, 5/21).

Devex: Questions arise again over need to declare Ebola public health emergency
“As the Ebola outbreak rages on in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the World Health Organization and other organizations face increasing challenges to respond, questions swirl again over whether it’s time to declare a public health emergency of international concern. … Speaking before member states on Tuesday, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, minister of health of the Democratic Republic of Congo, shared successes, despite the complexity of the response. The epidemic has not spread out to neighboring countries, and they have vaccinated over 100,000 people…” (Ravelo, 5/22).

STAT: The Ebola response effort is struggling. Experts say these steps could help
“With Ebola response teams struggling to contain the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization and its partners can make changes to shore up their effort and try to prevent the crisis from escalating further, according to a handful of experts surveyed by STAT. … Good data are key … Lab capacity needs to be increased … If Ebola treatment centers are seen as toxic, find alternatives…” (Branswell, 5/21).

VOA News: WHO: Ebola Strategies Need Adjusting in Congo
“…WHO officials are appealing for intensified international political engagement and financial support to combat Ebola. They warn the further spread of the dangerous disease would have serious social and economic regional implications and would trigger an even greater crisis” (Schlein, 5/21).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from CIDRAP News, Global Health NOW, and The Guardian.

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