citation

"DRC Ebola News (8/12/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 12, 2019. Accessed August 23, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-8-12-19/

Daily update for August 12th, 2019 on the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

There were 15 new cases as of August 11th.

A clinical trial evaluating four investigational therapies for the Ebola virus was stopped early after one of the antibodies invented by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals showed significantly better results.

Doctors of the North Kivu province have decided to postpone their dry strike of protest and solidarity initially scheduled for today.

In a commentary published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, Dr. Pierre Rollin criticized the DRC response team and urged the health ministry to accept more outside help.

A study from Boston Children’s Hospital suggests that the anti-parasitic drug nitazoxanide, enhances the immune system’s ability to detect Ebola.

Tshisekedi has taken over the DRC’s Ebola response. How he can make a difference

DRC MoH Statistics/WHO AFRO Dashboard

[WHO AFRO Dashboard

Total cases: 2,831

  • Confirmed cases: 2,737
  • Probable cases: 94
  • Suspected cases: 326

Deaths: 1,888

Vaccinated: 190,787

For the first time, clinical trial results show Ebola drugs improve survival rates

STAT

By Helen Branswell, 8/12/19

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that two therapies made from antibodies harvested from Ebola survivors appear to be improving survival rates among people who receive them. The therapies are a cocktail of three monoclonal Ebola antibodies made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) and a single monoclonal antibody developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Regeneron’s cocktail is known as REGN-EB3; the single monoclonal antibody is known as mAb114. The NIH and WHO also announced that a data and safety monitoring board determined on August 9 that two other experimental Ebola drugs — ZMapp and Remdesivir — should be dropped from the trial. The decision was based on data collected from 499 patients. The announcement marks the first time a clinical trial has successfully shown that an Ebola therapy improves survival in people who have been infected. The new results are based on a trial that was started last November.

Mouzoko case: Doctors will not go on strike next Monday

Topcongofm via H5N1

8/11/19

After a council meeting on August 10, the national council of the order of doctors say they want to give a chance to the negotiations carried out on reducing the detention conditions of their colleagues accused of being involved in the assassination of Dr. Richard Mouzoko. “We ask that [our colleagues] be under house arrest. We still have the weekend to continue the negotiations,” Kalima Nzanu, president of the Butembo Cell of the National Council of the Medical Association told Top Congo. Only “if Monday, August 12, [arrested doctors] are not released on bail and the public hearing is not scheduled, we will start a strike excluding first all outpatient consultations. We will only take in-patients and those who come in emergency,” he warned. About 52 people were arrested in connection with this case, including 24 suspected Mai-Mai fighters and 4 Congolese doctors. 3 of the arrested doctors are presumed sponsors and moral authors of this murder and the forth is currently on the run.

Ebola veteran warns virus could become entrenched in DRC if outbreak response does not improve

STAT

By Helen Branswell, 8/9/19

Ebola expert Dr. Pierre Rollin, formerly of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), criticized the response for a lack of coordination and urged the DRC health ministry to accept more outside help to support laboratory services and generate real-time genetic sequencing of viruses. He also warned that the virus could become endemic in the region if the response is not improved. Rollin also expressed concern about how the response effort is not identifying what are known as probable cases — people who died of Ebola-like symptoms but were never tested. Another problem Rollin raised relates to nosocomial transmission of Ebola — people who are contracting the virus when they seek health care from a traditional healer, a local clinic, or a community hospital that is not set up to identify or safely treat Ebola patients.

Ebola outbreak grows by 6 in DRC

CIDRAP

8/9/19

A study conducted in human cells and published in iScience suggests that nitazoxanide enhances the immune system’s ability to detect Ebola. Because nitazoxanide is already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children and adults for other infections, it could prove to be a convenient and accessible Ebola treatment. “Currently, there is no easily deployable therapy for Ebola virus,” Anne Goldfeld, MD, of the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s said in a press release.

Twitter

Tweet by Helen Branswell– 8/11/19

@HelenBranswell

Veteran #Ebola fighter Pierre Rollin has grave concerns about the way the North Kivu-Ituri outbreak response is functioning. One concern: They aren’t recording probable cases. Must be tons. Missing them obscures chains of transmission. Starkly clear here. https://www.statnews.com/2019/08/09/ebola-veteran-warns-virus-could-become-entrenched-in-drc-if-outbreak-response-does-not-improve/

Tweet by Amy Maxmen– 8/9/19

@amymaxmen

Ethical boundaries are often crossed in outbreaks with the excuse of urgency. It is always like this. There is never time. Rollins suggests that a reason why outbreak isn’t under control is that DRC does sloppy lab work, w/out backing up his claims. That’s a little unusual.

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