"DRC Ebola News (11/21/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 21, 2019. Accessed January 24, 2020. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-11-21-19/
There was no new case reported on November 21st.
Over the last three months, there has been a steady decrease in the incidence of confirmed cases in DRC.
Civil unrest may have worsened the ongoing Ebola outbreak, according to a new study by Texas A&M researcher.
Study findings confirmed the long-term presence of Ebola RNA in breast milk and semen samples from survivors of the West African epidemic.
DRC MoH Statistics/WHO AFRO Dashboard (as of November 21)
Total cases: 3,298
- Confirmed cases: 3,180
- Probable cases: 118
- Suspected cases: 423
- 254,503 (Merck Vaccine)
- 373 (Johnson & Johnson Vaccine)
Ebola Virus Disease: External Situation Report 68
In the week of 11 to 17 November, nine new confirmed Ebola cases were reported from three health zones in two affected provinces, compared to 126 cases reported at the peak of the epidemic in the last week of April 2019. No cases were reported from both Mandima and Mambasa health zones. Although the number of weekly reported cases is decreasing, it is expected that the outbreak response will encounter more complex circumstances as some transmission continues within rural and hard to reach communities. A high level of vigilance is still required, with attention to contact tracing and case recognition.
Under Pillar 1, the public health pillar of the Strategic Response Plan, the estimated funding requirement for all partners for the period July to December 2019 is US$ 287 million, including US$ 140 million for WHO. As of 19 November, US$ 85.6 million has been received by WHO, with additional funds committed or pledged. Under Pillar 5, the Regional Preparedness pillar, the funding requirement for all partners is US$ 66 million, of which WHO requires US$ 21 million. As of 19 November, WHO has received US$ 7.3 million. WHO currently has no further pledges in the pipeline for preparedness. Increased funding for preparedness in neighbouring countries is urgently needed.
Study Says Conflicts In The Congo Affecting Ebola Outbreaks
The study by Dr. Martial Ndeffo was published in PNAS. the research team—including scholars from Yale University, the University of Florida, and the University of Bordeaux—found that disruptive events, such as attacks on Ebola treatment centers and healthcare workers, reduced population-level vaccine effectiveness in the DRC by 43 percent. Prior to disruptive events, the population-level vaccine effectiveness was estimated to be 52 percent; in the observed period of conflict, it was estimated to reach a minimum of 4.8 percent. “Our ethnographic evidence indicates increased hostility of the public toward healthcare responders prior to an attack, which would impede the effectiveness of the public health response,” Ndeffo said. “Through our analysis, we show that a declining trend in Ebola incidence can be reversed as a result of violence toward the response and how they contribute to the persistence of the epidemic.” Ndeffo said. Solutions to the observations presented in this study may be focused on conflict resolution in addition to medical intervention. Both a reduction in violence and support of humanitarian work are necessary to restore order and rebuild infrastructure in the affected area. Ndeffo places emphasis on the importance of gaining local trust of healthcare workers.
Ebola RNA persists for months in breast milk, semen of survivors
The study found that most data on persistence of Ebola virus or RNA are from semen—the probability of semen remaining positive for Ebola to be 93.02% and 60.12% after 3 and 6 months, respectively. The presence of Ebola RNA was detected in the semen of one survivor for 512 days. Researchers detected Ebola RNA only rarely in breast milk and two other body fluids, saliva and urine. They were surprised to find that Ebola RNA was detectable in breast milk from a woman 1 month after she gave birth, which was 500 days after she was discharged from the Ebola treatment unit. The researchers were unable to perform viral isolations on the RNA positive samples and could not comment on whether the samples and individuals who provided them are infectious.
Tweet by Helen Branswell– 11/20/19
4. Here’s a challenge that’s bedeviled the #Ebola response. People in this part of DRC move around — even when they are sick, or dead. Some information about a family trying to move an Ebola contaminated corpse. Green marker is where they started, red where they were stopped.
Tweet by Financial Times– 11/21/19
Global health equity is needed to prevent an Ebola pandemic