Following Appointment Of Presidential Ebola Task Force, Communications On DRC Outbreak In Flux; Islamists Attack Two Towns In Ebola Zone, Killing 12

Associated Press: Ebola vaccine’s promise undermined by deep distrust in Congo
“…Deep distrust — along with political instability and deadly violence — has severely undermined efforts by public health authorities in Congo to curb the outbreak by tracing and vaccinating those who may have come into contact with infected people…” (Larson et al., 7/24).

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola total grows by 5, with outbreak info in flux
“Amid uncertainty in notifications of new Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) related to changes in the government’s outbreak management, World Health Organization (WHO) online tracking shows 5 more infections [Tuesday], lifting the outbreak total to 2,597. … Late in the day, the health ministry released a daily report, which it said would be the last to come from the health ministry’s press team. The daily detailed reports — which have covered cases, deaths, vaccination progress, security incidents, health worker infections, and other developments — have been widely praised for their detail and timeliness. The health ministry said all future response communications will be managed directly by the office of DRC President Felix Tshisekedi…” (Schnirring, 7/23).

OZY: Can the ‘Ebola Hunter’ Keep This Outbreak From Going Worldwide?
“…On Saturday, the 77-year-old [Jean-Jacques Muyembe] was named head of a technical committee to combat the virus by Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi, who took over the post in January. … The creation of the committee and his leadership of it was controversial: in response, the health commissioner Oly Ilunga Kalenga resigned…” (Fouriezos, 7/24).

Washington Post: Attack by Islamists in Congo kills 12 in ‘Triangle of Death’ Ebola zone
“Fighters from an Islamist insurgency attacked two towns at the center of an ongoing Ebola outbreak zone in eastern Congo on Wednesday, killing 12 according to local officials. The towns, Oicha and Eringite, are in an area sometimes referred to by health workers as ‘le triangle de la mort’ or triangle of death as a vicious cycle of attacks have aided the spread of Ebola…” (Bearak, 7/24).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from the Associated Press, BBC News, CNBC Africa, The Guardian, Reuters, Scientific American, and Washington Times.