citation

"DRC Ebola News (6/14/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 14, 2019. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-6-14-19/

Daily update for June 14th, 2019, on the ongoing Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

WHO decided that the long-running Ebola outbreak still does not constitute a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC) after emergency meeting today.

Congolese Health Ministry confirms the death of another child from Ebola, bringing the death toll to 3 within the same family that had recently traveled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Uganda.

The brief confrontation faced by health workers yesterday while burying the second victim of Ebola in Uganda was a flash of the community resistance that health teams have experienced for months.

New analysis involving data from the West African Ebola outbreak concluded that at least 50% of all Ebola outbreaks may have gone unrecognized, and more surveillance is needed to identify them.

There were 12 new Ebola cases in DRC as of June 13th.

WHO AFRO Dashboard/DRC MoH Stats

WHO AFRO Dashboard

Total cases in DRC: 2,117

  • Confirmed cases: 2,023
  • Probable cases: 94
  • Suspected cases: 314

Confirmed deaths in DRC: 1,411

Vaccinated in DRC: 132,679

After Ebola spills into Uganda, WHO decides against emergency declaration

STAT

By Helen Branswell, 6/14/19

Dr. Preben Aavitsland, acting chair of the WHO emergency committee, said that while the outbreak is a health emergency in DRC and the region, it does not yet meet the criteria of a public health emergency of international concern. “The fundamental dynamics of the outbreak haven’t changed,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Kinshasa in the DRC. Tedros said the outbreak response has the knowledge and tools to control the disease, but that work is being hampered by a crippling shortage of funding; he called on the international community to fill a $54 million funding gap. Some global health experts have been calling for months for this outbreak to be declared a PHEIC, that lack of such a declaration is potentially depriving the Ebola response of badly needed assistance and donor cash, they have argued. However other experts have warned a PHEIC can be a double-edged sword. Though the WHO can — and does — insist during a public health emergency that other countries refrain from imposing punitive measures like trade and travel restrictions, in past PHEICs those instructions have sometimes been disregarded, complicating efforts to contain those epidemics.

The Latest: More dead in family that brought Ebola to Uganda

AP

6/14/19

The 3-year-old boy died as he was being brought to Congo for medical treatment. His 5-year-old brother and their grandmother already had died from the disease. The victims contracted Ebola from the children’s grandfather, a pastor who died in late May. WHO says there’s no evidence Ebola is spreading within Uganda after the deadly virus crossed the border from Congo this week. Dr. Michael Ryan tells The Associated Press he believes authorities “have contained the virus” to one family. He says one challenge in stopping the outbreak in Congo is reaching areas controlled by rebel groups, some of whom have reportedly demanded money for access. Meanwhile, Health officials in eastern Congo are vaccinating some pregnant women and infants against Ebola for the first time since the outbreak was declared in August.

Burial of Ugandan Ebola victim shows flash of confrontation

Washington Post

By Rodney Muhumuza, 6/14/19

Burying Agnes Mbambu, Uganda’s second Ebola victim, took all day and into the night as health workers pulled together the means to do it safely. The need for safe burials conflicts with traditional customs of having loved ones wash and dress the corpse. In Congo, that has led to trouble. In Karambi village of Uganda on Thursday, however, the tensions came from waiting and worrying about the disease. Somber men sat on wooden chairs in a relative’s compound. Five women, professional mourners, rested in the grass. The Mbambu’s brother, Mbusa Godwin, said they had respected doctors’ advice to keep the mourners to a few. At 7:30 p.m. the funeral procession arrived. Tensions grew as the burial team changed into protective suits in the glow of car lights. When the team’s leader didn’t commit to covering the coffin with soil to the young men’s satisfaction — it was not clear why — the confrontation almost ended in violence. Community participation is key to keeping Ebola from spreading, and the coming days will test Uganda’s ability to contain the virus in an area that is a hotbed of anti-government sentiment. Although Uganda has faced multiple Ebola outbreaks in the past, this is the first time this mountainous area has experienced the virus. The burial of Mbambu was originally meant to take place about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, near her father’s grave. But the community there rejected her, said Rhoda Katsumbiro, a resident of the village where her coffin now rests. “The family members there, they thought they would be affected,” Katsumbiro said. “They feared. We had to bring her here.”

More than half of all Ebola outbreaks are going undetected

New Scientist

By Ruby Prosser Scully, 6/13/19

The current DRC outbreak that has infected over 2000 people and more than 1400 deaths since beginning in August last year, and has spread to Uganda, making it the second largest in history, behind the epidemic in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people between 2013 and 2016. However, such outbreaks are quite unlikely, because it is far from inevitable that Ebola will spread between many people if it “spills over” into the human population from bats or other animals. As such, Emma Glennon at the University of Cambridge and her colleagues used computer modelling and estimated that more than half of spillover events go undetected, implying well over 100 cases of Ebola have never been picked up by medical monitoring. One of their models suggested that the undetected spillover figure might be as high as 83 per cent. Ian Mackay at the University of Queensland in Australia says identifying outbreaks early when only a few people have been infected is vital, as it avoids a difficult and expensive situation of catch-up after dozens have been infected. He says the study also sheds light on curious trends that virologists have noticed in the decades since Ebola was discovered.

Twitter

Tweet by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

@DrTedros

Although the #Ebola outbreak in #DRC does not pose a global health threat, I want to emphasise that for the affected families and communities, this outbreak is very much an emergency.

Tweet by Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng

@JaneRuth_Aceng

I appeal to each and every individual to be responsible and remain ON ALERT. Health begins in the communities and I want to reiterate that this is not about @MinofHealthUG and partners making money BUT SAVING LIVES. No amount of money can pay for life. A life lost is a life gone.

Tweet by L’OMS en RDC

@OMSRDCONGO

#DRC. Moses Kitsa is a lucky man who survived from #Ebola in #Katwa after treatment (ETC). But his relatives, 13 people including his own brother & grandson died from the #EDV in last Jan 2019. With his motorbike, Kitsa is now mobilizing & transporting contacts to get vaccinated

Tweet by Gabrielle Fitzgerald

@FitzGab

In contrast to the 2014 #Ebola outbreak in W. Africa, there is currently little funding coming in from private donations to support orgs responding to the ongoing outbreak in #DRC. That’s why we’ve launched @theebolafund: http://www.theebolafund.org #EndEbola @HelenBranswell

Next Article