citation

"DRC Ebola News (10/18/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 18, 2019. Accessed November 18, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-10-18-19/

Daily update for October 18th, 2019 on the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

There were 3 new cases reported on October 17th.

The IHR Emergency Committee still views the DRC Ebola outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the conditional marketing authorization for Merck’s experimental Ebola vaccine.

Tracking Ebola to its last refuges in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC MoH Statistics/WHO AFRO Dashboard (as of October 17)

WHO AFRO Dashboard

Total cases: 3,233

  • Confirmed cases: 3,117
  • Probable cases: 116
  • Suspected cases: 443

Deaths: 2,158

Vaccinated: 239,139

Statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 18 October 2019

WHO

10/18/19

It was the view of the Committee that this event still constitutes a PHEIC under the IHR (2005). Uganda emphasized the efforts to vaccinate health care workers and strengthen community village health teams in the at-risk districts to enhance community surveillance. Tanzania provided an update on their preparedness efforts, which continued since September 2018, through the Ebola Contingency plan, under the leadership of the National Task Force. The WHO Secretariat provided details on the latest risk assessment. The United Nations Ebola Emergency Response Coordinator gave an update on the situation and efforts to maintain an enabling environment to improve access and acceptance of Ebola response in communities. The Committee was also appraised by the WHO Secretariat on progress on preparedness efforts in the nine neighbouring countries. On 21 October 2019, a high-level ministerial meeting will be held in Goma, DRC, to further strengthen alignment and coordination of cross-border surveillance across all nine high-risk neighbouring countries. A major challenge is the lack of funding for preparedness, particularly in the priority 2 countries (Angola, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Tanzania, and Zambia). Of the US$ 66.6 million required for all the 9 neighbouring countries, only US$ 4.5 million has been pledged. Compliance with IHR requirements for notification and verification of alerts was highlighted, with regards to transparency and timely sharing of public health information.

UN Says Ebola in Congo Still Qualifies as Global Emergency

AP

By Maria Cheng, 10/18/19

WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the situation remains “complex and dangerous” and that officials must continue to treat every case like it’s the first. While only 15 new Ebola cases were confirmed last week, WHO noted the vast majority were not in people previously identified as contacts of others infected, suggesting health officials still have difficulty tracking where the virus is spreading. The declaration of this outbreak as an international emergency was expected to bring increased funding and attention to combat the disease. This week, WHO reported that of the $287 million it estimates is needed until December, it has received only about $69 million, although additional funds have been pledged.

With European backing, the world is on the brink of the first approved Ebola vaccine

STAT

By Helen Branswell, 10/18/19

The conditional authorization, for people 18 years and older, must receive European Commission approval before the vaccine will become licensed in the 28 EU countries and the countries of the European Economic Area — Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The FDA is also reviewing a licensure application for the vaccine, which will be sold as brand name “Ervebo”; a decision is expected by March 14, 2020. The Merck vaccine has been used in the DRC since August 2018 under a research protocol sponsored by the WHO, since it is unlicensed. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the EMA news “a triumph for public health.”

Twitter

Tweet by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus– 10/18/19

@DrTedros

The IHR Emergency Committee’s view is that the #Ebola outbreak in #DRC still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. I have accepted that advice. We are on full response mode until we get to zero cases. http://bit.ly/2OVjebj

Tweet by Karin Huster– 10/18/19

@ReunionIslaGirl

As long as we continue to have community deaths, new cases that were not on any contact lists, poor follow-up and a vaccination rhythm that is too slow, this will remain a PHEIC.

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