citation

"DRC Ebola News (7/10/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 10, 2019. Accessed July 19, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-7-10-19/

Daily update for July 10th, 2019 on the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

There were 10 new cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as of July 9th.

At last month’s G20 summit in Japan, high-income countries, including the United States, declared their full support for the Ebola response. They must now make good on that promise to the WHO.

As part of an effort to determine if diagnostic tests and experimental treatments being used in the field are effective, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created a synthetic version of the Ebola virus circulating in DRC. Results reported on Tuesday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases are encouraging.

In an optimistic take, David Gressly calls for the post-Ebola period as soon as the epidemic is totally over.

WHO AFRO Dashboard/DRC MoH Stats

DRC MoH Statistics

Total cases in DRC: 2,428

  • Confirmed cases: 2,334
  • Probable cases: 94
  • Suspected cases: 286

Deaths in DRC: 1,630

Vaccinated in DRC: 154,878

To contain Ebola, the United States must fulfil its promise to the World Health Organization

Nature

7/9/19

Of the G7 nations, Germany and the United Kingdom are on track with combined pledges of nearly $16 million to the WHO’s Ebola response in North Kivu this year. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other non-governmental donors have contributed almost $8 million this year. But the United States, Canada, France, Italy and Japan have not contributed their share. And because the United States is relied upon as the world’s biggest health-emergency funder, its shortfall is disconcerting. The United States is understood to have contributed $31 million to the Ebola response this year, and beneficiaries have included aid groups and other United Nations agencies, but not the WHO. There are a few possible explanations for this shortcoming. The first is unspoken but was true of the world’s largest outbreak of the disease in West Africa — Ebola has not yet spread to rich countries. Another is that the WHO has been criticized for not having the outbreak fully under control despite its courageous efforts. WHO began sharing more responsibilities with other UN agencies in May, recognizing that the situation requires not only biomedical assistance but also political and humanitarian expertise.

CDC made a synthetic Ebola virus to test treatments. It worked

STAT

By Helen Branswell, 7/9/19

The CDC team found that two of four therapeutics being used on patients in this outbreak appear to be on target for the outbreak virus. They tested Gilead’s antiviral drug Remdesivir and the monoclonal antibody cocktail ZMapp, which is being developed by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals. The team did not have access to the two other therapies, which are also monoclonal antibodies. The reported results are hopeful, but also raise questions about why outside research groups have not received direct access to viral specimens from the DRC and instead had to create a synthetic version. The paper noted that there have been no Ebola samples available to the scientific community from the past four outbreaks in the DRC. Scientists who were not involved in the work praised the CDC’s effort, but also noted it would be easier, faster, and potentially more accurate to use actual viruses rather than those recreated from genetic codes logged in an online database. Gary Kobinger, who led the work to develop the Ebola treatment ZMapp said it is becoming increasingly difficult to get pathogens to study. It’s a global trend, he said, and one that threatens the world’s ability to conduct surveillance and develop diagnostic tests for disease-causing pathogens. Kobinger also noted that during the West African outbreak of 2014-2016, Guinea quickly agreed to share virus samples. A spokeswoman for the DRC health ministry, Jessica Ilunga, said she would look into the country’s policy on sharing of viruses from this outbreak.

DRC Ebola: Optimistic that the epidemic will be defeated, David Gressly calls to think of the post-disease period

H5N1

7/9/19

On Monday, David Gressly spoke with North Kivu governor, Carly Nzanzu, about Ebola response issues. “There is a decrease but while there is always at least one case, there is a danger, a threat. We cannot slow down our efforts. We must continue until the end. But I am optimistic that we will find the end of this epidemic. It is not easy to say when, but I believe that we must make every effort now to cover all the territories that are at risk and try to end this epidemic. But once this epidemic is over, there will always be effects. There are already impacts on the health system, education, a significant impact on trade too.” Gressly explained. Last weekend, the Governor of North Kivu received assurances from the National Minister of Health on the evolution of the epidemiological situation of this disease, particularly in Butembo and Katwa, which do not constitute more hot spots.

Twitter

Tweet by Amy Maxmen– 7/9/19

@amymaxmen

The 7 richest countries in the world say they worry about #Ebola & have promised to help fight it…but most haven’t fronted the money requested by @WHO. Delays led to 11,000 deaths & a $3billion pricetag in W Africa. Are we going to do that again?

Tweet by WHO African Region– 7/10/19

@WHOAFRO

Ntakirutimana travelled to #Beni with her 4 small children to visit her husband. Her neighbour suddenly fell sick one evening and was later found to have #Ebola. After seeing Ebola firsthand, she urges others at risk of contamination to protect their families and get vaccinated.

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