citation

"DRC Ebola News (9/23/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 23, 2019. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-9-23-19/

Daily update for September 23rd, 2019 on the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

There were 4 new cases as of September 22nd.

In a rare public reprimand, WHO has called out Tanzania for refusing to provide detailed information on suspected Ebola cases.

A doctor that was kidnapped in Butembo regained his freedom this weekend.

DRC health authorities have announced plans to introduce a second experimental Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), from mid- October.

Recommended reading:

Independent Ebola vaccination committee is needed to overcome lack of WHO transparency

DRC MoH Statistics/WHO AFRO Dashboard (as of September 22)

WHO Ebola Dashboard

Total cases: 3,164

  • Confirmed cases: 3,053
  • Probable cases: 111
  • Suspected cases: 415

Deaths: 2,115

Vaccinated: 226,231

WHO signals alarm over possible unreported Ebola cases in Tanzania

STAT

By Helen Branswell, 9/21/19

It is unusual for the WHO to publicly reveal that a member country is hindering an important disease investigation. They issued a statement on Saturday which relates to a Tanzanian doctor that died on Sept. 8 after returning from Uganda and was buried immediately. Two days after her death, WHO received information through unofficial channels that a person suspected of having Ebola had died. The information indicating the woman had tested positive for Ebola, but Tanzanian authorities have not been forthcoming about the cause of her death. Nor have they revealed what was ailing two of her contacts who later became sick, saying only that their tests were negative for Ebola. Last week, WHO received another informal tip that another contact was sick and had been hospitalized.

Tanzania has not shared the tests so they can be validated at an outside laboratory, as suggested under the International Health Regulations. Further, Tanzanian authorities waited four days to respond to the WHO’s first urgent request for information. There currently is no information to suggest the dead woman had traveled to the DRC. But that doesn’t preclude the possibility that she might have been infected.

This situation has also been of concern to the United States. On Saturday, the CDC said it was aware of the situation and is working with the WHO to learn more. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who was in East Africa to review the Ebola response in the DRC, urged Tanzania to be more forthcoming.

Butembo: Kidnapped Friday, doctor at Vukaka Hospital Center found his freedom

Actu30 via H5N1

9/22/19

Dr. Germain Isuka was found near Ngeleza, a village near Butembo, North Kivu. He said he had been tortured during his abduction before being taken to an unknown destination, and that the hostage takers kept threatening him with death because he works with Ebola response teams. Dr. Germain said the kidnappers likened to Mai-Mai militia and promised to attack the caregivers and communities that collaborate with the response teams.

Second Ebola vaccine to complement “ring vaccination” given green light in DRC

WHO Newsroom

9/23/19

“The DRC authorities, in deciding to deploy the second experimental vaccine to extend protection against this deadly virus, have once again shown leadership and their determination to end this outbreak as soon as possible,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The J&J vaccine, given as a 2-dose course 56 days apart, will be provided under approved protocols to targeted at-risk populations in areas that do not have active Ebola transmission. It will complement the current vaccine manufactured by Merck. The introduction of the second experimental vaccine is in line with the SAGE recommendations.

The Merck vaccine will continue to be provided to all people at high risk of Ebola infection including those who have been in contact with confirmed Ebola cases. Merck has provided WHO with 245,000 doses for DRC and neighboring countries and built a stockpile of 190,000 doses that are ready to send to DRC. Merck also aims to release 650,000 doses over the next six to 18 months under its replenishment strategy. Under the current SAGE recommendations this means that there are 390,000 doses currently and additional 1.3 million doses will be available.

Twitter

Tweet by Amy Maxmen– 9/22/19

@amymaxmen

But…the thing about a new vaccine is that it can’t make up for the fact that many people who need #Ebola vaccines aren’t getting them. And that doesn’t appear to be a problem of supply.

Tweet by Crawford Kilian– 9/23/19

@Crof

Beni: Bandit attack at health center KIBWE: 4 arrested #Ebola

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