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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Ebola Again

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Technophobe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2018 at 7:19am
Congo says Ebola outbreak worst in nation's history


Health ministry says there are 319 confirmed and probable cases
The Associated Press ·

Posted: Nov 10, 2018 8:34 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago

Congo's latest Ebola outbreak is the worst in the country's recorded history with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said.

The deadly virus has killed about 198 people since the outbreak was declared Aug. 1 in the volatile east, the ministry said. Those dead include 163 confirmed Ebola cases, with 35 probable deaths. Nearly 100 people have survived Ebola.

This is Congo's tenth outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified in Yambuku, in the Equateur province, the ministry said.

    WHO takes closer look at Congo's Ebola outbreak

Health Minister Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga said late Friday that the figures now exceed that outbreak.

"No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are currently experiencing," Kalenga said. "Since their arrival in the region, the response teams have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment and kidnapping. Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit even lost their lives in an attack."
Violence complicates response

Armed groups vying for control of Congo's mineral-rich east have staged regular attacks in Congo's Ituri and North Kivu provinces, complicating the response by health officials who are also meeting community resistance.

This epidemic remains dangerous and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down.

    - Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Congo's health minister

Health officials, however, have managed to vaccinate more than 27,000 high-risk contacts, of which at least half could have developed Ebola, the health minister said.

"This epidemic remains dangerous and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down. We must continue to pursue a very dynamic response that requires permanent readjustments and real ownership at the community level," he said.

The head of UN peacekeeping operations vowed this week to do more with Congo's government to help improve security in the country's east.

This is the first time an Ebola outbreak has occurred in Congo's far northeast. The health ministry has said teams responding to the Ebola outbreak are attacked three or four times a week on average, a level of violence unseen in the country's nine previous outbreaks of the virus.

Ebola is spread via the body fluids of infected people, including the dead.

    Uganda at 'big risk' for Ebola spreading from neighbouring Congo, officials say

Source:   https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/congo-ebola-worst-in-nations-history-1.4900641
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2018 at 1:32pm
[Technophobe: Things are definitely going from bad to worse. The medical people treating the sick and the researchers looking for vaccines and cures are getting quite good at this disease, but the local situation is so difficult that things are still deteriorating.]

[Anyway:]


The Risk That Ebola Will Spread to Uganda Is Now ‘Very High’

Source and full article:   https://www.wired.com/story/the-risk-that-ebola-will-spread-to-uganda-is-now-very-high/

[and]

Ebola outbreak worst in history of Democratic Republic of Congo

Source and full article:   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/12/health/ebola-congo-intl/index.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2018 at 1:05am
It's Feared Congo's Ebola Outbreak Will Get Even Worse

By Nurith Aizenman

Morning Edition, · Global health experts warn the Ebola epidemic in Democratic Republic of the Congo could soon enter a new phase. Ongoing conflict there prevents health workers from wiping out the disease.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Ebola outbreak spreading through the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed at least 177 lives. This outbreak is in a part of the country with a lot of conflict, and fears are growing that things could get worse. NPR's Nurith Aizenman has more.

NURITH AIZENMAN, BYLINE: Pierre Rollin is an expert on Ebola with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who recently returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He's been responding to Ebola outbreaks there for more than 20 years. And he says health officials are usually able to get a handle on them quickly.

PIERRE ROLLIN: Three, four months maximum.

AIZENMAN: But that's how long this outbreak has been going on for. And...

ROLLIN: By some aspect, it looks like we just discovered the outbreak. We're are not making any progress. We don't see decreasing number of case. They still have a lot of people that are not detected in time.

AIZENMAN: Response teams are continually finding themselves blocked by armed rebel groups who launch attacks on the government and civilians, by factions within the Congolese military that clash with each other, and by a population that is deeply distrustful of anyone associated with the government, including health workers. Rollin worries about what will happen in late December, when the DRC is set to hold national elections.

ROLLIN: And we have no idea what's going to happen.

AIZENMAN: The fear is the results will be disputed, sparking more violence.

ROLLIN: The terrible scenario is the one in which there are escalated attacks, including targeting of health workers.

AIZENMAN: Stephen Morrison is director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

STEPHEN MORRISON: That could very rapidly trigger a decision to evacuate.

AIZENMAN: He points out that there are currently hundreds of health workers in the outbreak zone, including teams that have given more than 30,000 people a new vaccine.

MORRISON: You take that away, you've removed a dampener. You're going to see a sharp escalation of this outbreak. And your risks of export into the region and beyond go through the ceiling.

AIZENMAN: So he says, you'd think international governments would be crafting an aggressive intervention. And yet...

MORRISON: I see no evidence whatsoever that there's any mobilization of this kind happening.

AIZENMAN: Peter Salama is helping to lead the response by the World Health Organization. He says he shares Morrisons fears, but he's also more optimistic. Salama notes that there's a long-standing U.N. peacekeeping force in the DRC, and he met with them last week.

PETER SALAMA: We discussed how the force could have really acted more than just a reactive force, but a deterrent.

AIZENMAN: Manning checkpoints in key cities in the outbreak zone, for instance. Still, Salama says, even in the best-case scenario, ending this outbreak will take at least six more months. Nurith Aizenman, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF ERNEST GONZALES' "SOPHIA'S LULLABY")
Source:   https://text.npr.org/s.php?sId=668135805
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2018 at 9:51pm
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2018 at 9:49pm
More bad news in the effort to contain the out-break:

Originally posted by BBC BBC wrote:

Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have suspended efforts to contain an Ebola virus outbreak in the town of Beni because of worsening rebel attacks.

A militia attacked just "a few metres" from an emergency centre, the country's health ministry said.

Staff of the World Health Organization (WHO) were forced to leave as a shell hit the building they were in.

It is not clear when the mission might resume.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46249319
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2018 at 5:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 27 2018 at 5:17am

NOV 25, 2018 04:29 PM PST
Ongoing Ebola Outbreak in DRC Becomes Country's Worst Ever

On August 1, 2018, an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is still ongoing. There have been 366 reported cases, and 167 confirmed deaths so far, making it the worst outbreak the country has experienced.

Cases began in a town of about 40,000 called Mangina and then moved to a bigger city called Beni, home to about 420,000 people. A city of one million, Butembo, has now started to report new cases weekly.

What is especially worrisome to investigators is that some cases are not following previously known chains of transmission. The region is densely populated, and residents face high levels of danger and insecurity; an estimated 100 armed groups are active in the area, hampering efforts to stem the transmission of the disease. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is working with local authorities to get the outbreak under control. Learn more from the video.

Source: MSF

My Source and Video:   https://www.labroots.com/trending/videos/13355/ongoing-ebola-outbreak-drc-country-s-worst
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2018 at 1:41pm
Ebola Treatment Trials Launched In Democratic Republic Of The Congo Amid Outbreak

By Colin Dwyer

NPR.org, November 27, 2018 · Deep in the grips of an Ebola outbreak, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has embarked on an "important step" toward finding an effective treatment for the deadly virus. The World Health Organization said the country has launched the first-ever multidrug clinical trial for potential Ebola treatments.

"The giant step DRC is taking now will bring clarity about what works best, and save many lives in years to come," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director-general, said in a statement released Monday. "We hope to one day say that the death and suffering from Ebola is behind us."

The trial aims to determine which of the four leading Ebola treatments — referred to by the WHO as mAb114, Regeneron, Remdesivir and ZMapp — proves most successful in combating a virus that can have a high fatality rate.

Since the latest outbreak was declared about four months ago, the Democratic Republic of the Congo health ministry says there have been at least 419 confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola — at least 240 of whom have died.

To better evaluate these drugs, the WHO has revised a treatment protocol it created specifically for Ebola, known as Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions. The organization came up with the protocol as an emergency workaround, intending to enable medical workers to use experimental treatments that had not yet passed clinical trials.

"The new medicines that we're using, they're not approved for Ebola because there's not enough clinical trials to show they're effective," the WHO's Janet Diaz told NPR's All Things Considered earlier this month. "So what we got was permission from the ethical committee of the Congo to use these potentially lifesaving therapeutics in patients in the DRC."

The WHO explains that this protocol will remain the same, but for one big change.

"Patients will not be treated noticeably differently from before, though the treatment they receive will be decided by random allocation," the group explained. "The data gathered will become standardized and will be useful for drawing conclusions about the safety and efficacy of the drugs."

In fighting the most recent outbreak, however, medical workers have had more to contend with than the disease alone. The Ebola cases surfaced in Democratic Republic of the Congo's war-torn eastern provinces, North Kivu and Ituri, where rebels are waging a bloody guerrilla campaign against government forces.

Seven United Nations peacekeepers were killed in one such skirmish earlier this month, and another 11 civilians — including two Congolese health workers — were killed in the region last month. Experts fear that continued bloodshed is impeding the medical response and could derail it altogether. In addition to tracking and treating cases, frontline health workers are vaccinating tens of thousands of people.

"You take that away, you've removed a dampener," J. Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center, told NPR's Nurith Aizenman. "You're going to see a sharp escalation of this outbreak. And your risks of export into the region and beyond go through the ceiling."

It is already the Democratic Republic of the Congo's largest Ebola outbreak ever on record. Still, the country's health minister, Oly Ilunga, expressed hope Monday that the new randomized trials mark a turning point on how to treat the virus.

"Our country is struck with Ebola outbreaks too often, which also means we have unique expertise in combating it," he said. "These trials will contribute to building that knowledge, while we continue to respond on every front to bring the current outbreak to an end."

Source:   https://text.npr.org/s.php?sId=670913385
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2018 at 3:12pm
^Techno, thanks for the updates! I read them all and have been tracking this closely.

If (or perhaps, when) this outbreak expands into another country or population center, all hell could break loose. Remember that happened during the last big outbreak. Be safe!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2018 at 9:46pm
https://afro.who.int/news/joint-release-clarification-alleged-ebola-death-kabarole-district Uganda
https://afro.who.int/sites/default/files/2018-11/Weekly%20Update%20on%20Ebola%20Virus%20Disease%20%28EVD%29%20Preparedness_%2313.pdf South Sudan
(DJ-There are some reports on Ebola-cases in Uganda and South Sudan)

https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/central-african-republic and https://afro.who.int/news/central-african-republic-prepares-ebola-response?country=906&name=Central%20African%20Republic
(DJ-The Central African Republic (CAR) is a de facto failed state north of DR Congo. There is no way to stop the ebola-virus from spreading in that region when it gets there. And it will be very hard to avoid the virus from getting there. Once Ebola gets widespread in CAR the real nightmare begins.)
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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