WHO Committee Extends Ebola Emergency Declaration; European Regulators Recommend Experimental Vaccine For Approval; DRC Outbreak Slows But Response Funding Short

CIDRAP News: WHO advisors extend Ebola emergency; European regulators conditionally approve vaccine
“In a pair of major Ebola developments [on October 18], an emergency committee for the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended extending the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) for the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and European drug regulators conditionally approved Merck’s VSV-EBOV vaccine…” (Schnirring, 10/18).

Devex: Tanzania continues to dodge WHO recommendations on Ebola
“The Tanzanian government has yet to conduct a second test of its suspected Ebola cases, as recommended by the World Health Organization, Dr. Michel Yao, incident manager for WHO in DRC, confirmed during a press conference in Nairobi on Friday…” (Jerving, 10/18).

The Hill: Ebola outbreak wanes, but funding lags
“Global health officials are cautiously optimistic that an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Congo is slowly coming under control after more than a year spent battling one of the most complex epidemics in modern history. … But public health officials have warned that those scrambling to stop the outbreak are running low on money…” (Wilson, 10/18).

New York Times: WHO Continues Emergency Status for Ebola Outbreak in Congo
“The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is still a public health emergency and will be one for at least the next three months, the World Health Organization said on Friday. At the same time, ‘We believe we are on what could be a bumpy road to zero’ new infections, said Dr. Michael Ryan, the agency’s director of emergency response…” (McNeil, 10/18).

STAT: With European backing, the world is on the brink of the first approved Ebola vaccine
“The world came a big step closer to having a fully licensed Ebola vaccine on Friday, with a panel of the European Medicines Agency recommending conditional marketing authorization for Merck’s experimental Ebola vaccine. Meanwhile, the company announced the brand name for the vaccine; it will be sold as Ervebo. The vaccine protects against the most common strain of Ebola viruses to cause outbreaks, the Zaire ebolavirus…” (Branswell, 10/18).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response, as well as other Ebola-related news, is available from ABC, CIDRAP News (2), Devex, Homeland Preparedness News (2), Nature, Reuters, Science Speaks, U.N. News, and Xinhua.