WHO Appoints Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator For DRC Outbreak; Risk Of Spread To Larger Cities, Other Countries High, Officials Warn

ABC News: U.N. names Ebola chief to tackle world’s 2nd largest outbreak: ‘We have no time to lose’
“United Nations officials on Thursday named an emergency Ebola response coordinator to help bolster efforts to contain the growing outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo that has killed more than 1,200 people in 10 months. David Gressly, the U.N. deputy special representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been appointed to the new position, in which he ‘will oversee the coordination of international support for the Ebola response and work to ensure that an enabling environment — particularly security and political — is in place to allow the Ebola response to be even more effective,’ according to a statement from the World Health Organization, the global health arm of the U.N…” (Winsor, 5/23).

The Lancet: NGOs push for decentralized Ebola treatment in DR Congo
“The initiative, led by MSF and ALIMA, would provide community-based Ebola virus disease care. But pushback from DR Congo Ministry of Health could prove difficult…” (Shuchman, 5/25).

New Humanitarian: As Ebola cases rise, so do worries of a cross-border epidemic
“The second-largest Ebola outbreak ever continues to spread, and health officials now say it’s likely to reach the populous city of Goma. Once there, the risk of it spreading beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo to Rwanda, South Sudan, or Uganda increases. … ‘I wouldn’t say (the spread to Goma) is inevitable, but it’s highly probable,’ said Ray Arthur, director of the Global Disease Detection Operations Center at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (Dodds/Elliot, 5/23).

U.N. News: DR Congo: ‘No time to lose’ says newly appointed U.N. Ebola response coordinator
“…Up to the middle of this month, the number of cases, according to U.N. figures, stood at 1,847 (1,759 confirmed and 88 probable). In total, there have been 1,223 deaths (1,135 confirmed and 88 probable) and 487 people have survived the deadly virus…” (5/23).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Agence France-Presse, CIDRAP News, National Geographic, NPR, Science Speaks, VOA News, and Xinhua News (2).