WHO Convenes Emergency Committee To Reconsider DRC Ebola Outbreak International Emergency; DRC Health Minister Refuses Testing Of Additional Vaccine; Children Impacted Heavily, U.N. Says

CIDRAP News: WHO will take up Ebola emergency declaration question for a fourth time
“[Today] Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, the director general for the World Health Organization (WHO), will reconvene the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations to consider yet again if the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a PHEIC (public health emergency of international concern). The meeting, which will take place in Geneva at WHO headquarters, is the fourth such meeting held during this outbreak and was triggered by the detection of the first case in Goma, the heavily populated capital of North Kivu province…” (Soucheray, 7/16).

Reuters: WHO reports new Ebola incident in Uganda amid fears of virus spreading
“The World Health Organization reported a new incidence of Ebola in Uganda on Wednesday, fueling concerns that the virus may be spreading beyond Democratic Republic of Congo, as an expert panel weighs whether to sound the alarm internationally. The WHO said a Congolese fisherwoman traveled across the border to sell fish at Mpondwe market on July 11, where she had four vomiting incidents before returning to Congo and dying of Ebola…” (Miles, 7/17).

STAT: Debate over whether to test a second Ebola vaccine turns acrimonious
“An aggressive push to use a second experimental Ebola vaccine to try to help stop the nearly yearlong outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may have backfired, with the DRC’s health minister insisting the country will not allow use of the vaccine, made by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. … ‘We are in a very critical outbreak in a very complex environment,’ [DRC Health Minister Oly] Ilunga said. ‘We want to have all the human resources dedicated to the outbreak. We don’t want people to be diverted in another clinical trial elsewhere in the country'”(Branswell, 7/17).

VOA News: Children Hardest Hit by Ebola Epidemic in DR Congo
“The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is affecting more children than normal. The United Nations Children’s Fund says kids represent nearly one-third of current total cases, compared to about 20 percent in previous outbreaks…” (Schlein, 7/16).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from the Associated Press, The Guardian, PRI, and U.N. News.