citation

"DRC Ebola News (6/13/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 13, 2019. Accessed June 19, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-6-13-19/

Daily update for June 13th, 2019, on the ongoing Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

Public gatherings have been banned in western Kasese district, after the Ebola virus claims its second casualty in Uganda.

Today, CDC will announce the activation of its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to support the inter-agency response to the current outbreak.

Rwandan government intensifies the surveillance at points of entry, health facilities, and community levels to prevent spread of the virus into the country.

The spread of false claims that Ebola is present in the United States highlights the emerging threat that rumors spread through social media play in fighting real diseases.

The death rate from the outbreak has now surpassed 1,400 in DRC.

There were 21 new Ebola cases in DRC as of June 12th.

WHO AFRO Dashboard/DRC MoH Stats

WHO AFRO Dashboard

Total cases in DRC: 2,108

  • Confirmed cases: 2,014
  • Probable cases: 94
  • Suspected cases: 335

Confirmed deaths in DRC: 1,411

Vaccinated in DRC: 133,328

Uganda bans public gatherings in Kasese district amid Ebola fears

Al Jazeera

6/13/19

A Ugandan Health Ministry spokesman confirmed the move on Thursday hours after officials declared that a 50-year-old Congolese woman had become the second patient to die of the disease in Uganda; her grandson was the first confirmed Ebola death in Uganda, and the boy’s 3-year-old brother is also infected and is currently undergoing treatment. Ugandan Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said as of Thursday afternoon there was “no confirmed case” of the Ebola virus in the country after DRC officials successfully repatriated five infected people earlier in the day. Three people suspected to have contracted the disease are being treated in isolation at the Kasese district’s Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit, Aceng added, while health workers were establishing contact with 27 people believed to have come into contact with the two deceased.

CDC Activates Emergency Operations for Ebola Outbreak in Eastern DRC

CDC Newsroom

6/12/19

In a press release, CDC confirms that the three travel-associated cases in Uganda this week further emphasizes the ongoing threat of this outbreak and are working with the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on the ground in the DRC and the American Embassy in Kinshasa to support the Congolese and international response. CDC’s activation of the EOC at Level 3, the lowest level of activation, allows the agency to provide increased operational support for the response to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges. The risk of global spread of Ebola remains low. Activation of the CDC EOC does not mean that the threat of Ebola to the United States has increased or that changes are being made to CDC’s outbreak-related guidance.

Rwanda on alert as three Ebola cases are confirmed in Uganda

New Times

By James Karuhanga, 6/12/19

Rwanda’s ministry of health has implored the public and concerned agencies to strengthen measures to prevent the spread of Ebola into Rwanda. In a public notice, the ministry of health announced its continuation to work in coordination with the Rwanda Biomedical Center, WHO, and other partners to strengthen national capacity for early detection and containment in the event a case spreads in Rwanda. No Ebola case has been reported in the country.

Ebola outbreak in Africa spreads fake news in America

Hill

By Reid Wilson, 6/12/19

Rumors can be more devastating than the disease. And every time you have an epidemic of disease, you have an epidemic of rumors as well,” said Sylvie Briand, the director of infectious hazard management at the WHO’s Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases Department. She calls the challenge of false rumors an “infodemic.” Twitter posts and stories on right-wing websites have claimed several cases of the Ebola virus have been confirmed in Laredo, Texas, brought in by a surge of migrants from the DRC. “There are no suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in Texas right now. No one in Texas is currently being monitored for Ebola,” Lara Anton, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in an email to The Hill. A spokesman for the CDC echoed Anton’s statement. Public health officials who have been battling the virus in Congo say the rumors and fearmongering have become a regular occurrence any time a new disease breaks out. “Misinformation and rumors and this fear of the disease, that’s common in every outbreak. That’s not specific to Congo or even to Ebola,” said Carlos Navarro, UNICEF’s principal adviser for public health emergencies. “A lot of the misinformation and the rumors and panic is spread through social media. We usually face two outbreaks at the same time, the virus and the misinformation,” Navarro said. “The epidemics of fear, the epidemics of panic, that’s what we have.”

Twitter

Tweet by Helen Branswell

@HelenBranswell

Regardless of trimester, pregnant women, as well as those lactating, should be offered the experimental #Ebola vaccine if they’ve been exposed to the virus — whether they are contacts or contacts of contacts, 2 experts argue in a commentary on @statnews More

Tweet by WHO

@WHO

The rVSV-ZEBOV-GP #Ebola vaccine has shown high efficacy of protection against the disease. More

Tweet by EU in Uganda

@EUinUG

#Ebola: European Union releases additional €3.5 million to tackle epidemic, of which €2.5 million (UGX 10.5 billion) is dedicated to 🇺🇬and €1 million for 🇸🇸. The aid package will strengthen rapid detection and reaction to Ebola cases. More #EUandUganda

Tweet by Jennifer Nuzzo

@JenniferNuzzo

Uganda is well-practiced at containing VHF outbreaks, including #Ebola. But even well-prepared environments can experience challenges and health facilities are often weak-points for control efforts. No country can take this for granted.

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