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Experts Remain Cautious Over Possible Containment Of Ebola Outbreak In DRC

Al Jazeera: How West Africa’s Ebola outbreak shapes response in DRC
“Countries know the risks — and they know they have to act fast. This is the biggest lesson learned since an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus struck three countries in West Africa, leaving more than 11,300 people dead in its wake, said [infectious disease epidemiologist] Chikwe Ihekweazu. … Now, as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) grapples with its own Ebola outbreak — the ninth since the virus was first discovered there in 1976 — health experts say what happened in West Africa can help shape the response to the disease…” (Kestler-D’Amours, 6/2).

New York Times: As Aid Workers Move to the Heart of Congo’s Ebola Outbreak, ‘Everything Gets More Complicated’
“Aiming to squelch an Ebola outbreak that has [likely infected more than 50] people, killing almost half of them, aid workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have begun giving an experimental vaccine to people in the rural region at the epicenter of the outbreak. Epidemiologists working in the remote forests have not yet identified the first case, nor many of the villagers who may have been exposed. Investigators will need to overcome extreme logistical hurdles to reconstruct how the virus was transmitted, vaccinate contacts, and halt the spread…” (Baumgaertner, 6/1).

Washington Post: With Ebola at a ‘critical point’ in Congo, aid groups scramble to limit the outbreak
“…A sense of foreboding hangs over conversations among [the WHO, aid groups, and West African governments], even as their work appears to have stemmed the outbreak’s growth for the time being. The last confirmed case in Mbandaka was reported on May 22, but the horror of the past is still raw — more than 11,000 died in the West Africa epidemic, and cases spread as far as Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, and Dallas in the United States. ‘We must make sure we leave not even one stone unturned,’ said Pierre Rollin, an Ebola expert for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who is now in Congo. ‘Signs point to a diminishing number of cases, but there are no guarantees until we have gone weeks without any’…” (Bearak, 6/2).

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