“A doctor in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been hospitalised with the deadly Ebola virus after coming into contact with nearly 100 people…
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday investigating the infection and its possible spread to 97 people in contact with the physician would be difficult because the area was entirely surrounded by rebels.”
“It is the first time we have a confirmed case and contacts in an area of high insecurity,” said Dr Peter Salama, WHO’s deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response.
“It is really the problem we were anticipating and at same time dreading,” he told a news briefing.” (A)
““Really, in two weeks, we’ve gone from 24 cases to 105 cases,” … mainly because many health workers at a hospital in the town of Mangina, where the outbreak began, became infected when they treated early patients without recognizing that they had Ebola and therefore did not take adequate precautions….
So far, Redfield said, it is not necessary to test travelers at U.S. ports of entry, in part because there are no direct flights to the United States from the affected region and screening of outgoing travelers is being conducted. Four years ago, debate raged about whether to cut off all travel from West Africa to the United States. President Trump, then a private citizen, was an outspoken advocate of that position, tweeting that the United States should not allow two infected American missionaries back into the country for treatment.” (B)
“Military escorts are helping health workers quell an Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic of Congo that’s killed 63 people in three weeks…
World Health Organization and Health Ministry workers are using escorts from the Congolese army and the United Nations peacekeeping force in areas of insecurity, said Michael Yao, a WHO spokesman. Other key partners, such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies, eschew the assistance to maintain their neutrality.” (C)
“Uganda has opened two Ebola treatment units in the border districts with the Democratic Republic of Congo, a World Health Organisation official said.
Yonas Woldemariam, WHO Representative in Uganda, told Xinhua that the two treatment units have been established in the western border districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo to respond to any deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever alert case or outbreak.
He said the units are fully equipped and ready to manage any Ebola case in the east African country.
“Ebola Treatment Units are where patients can get the best care possible – with access to rehydration methods and protection from infecting their family and community,” said Woldemariam.
Although there is no confirmed Ebola case in Uganda, the country remains on high alert following an outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in neighbouring DRC. “ (D)
“Congo has approved the use of four more experimental treatments in the Ebola virus outbreak in its northeast, as health officials try to contain the spread amid the threat from armed groups in the region.
The treatments ZMapp, Remdesivir, Favipiravir and Regn3450 – 3471 – 3479 can now can be used on those suffering from Ebola, the health ministry said Wednesday. On Tuesday, health officials administered Remdesivir, which is produced by Gilead Sciences, to a patient in Beni, the ministry said.
Health officials began using the mAb114 treatment on Aug. 11 on 10 patients and the ministry said they were doing well.” (E)
“Congo’s health ministry says two of the first 10 people to receive an experimental treatment for the Ebola virus in the latest outbreak have recovered, and monitoring could show what role the treatment played.
The head of the World Health Organization on Saturday congratulated Congo’s government for making several experimental treatments available in this Ebola outbreak, calling it “a global first, and a ray of hope for people with the disease.”
The two people received the mAb114 treatment isolated from a survivor of an Ebola outbreak in 1995. It was the first of five experimental treatments Congo approved for use in the outbreak that was declared on Aug. 1. The others are ZMapp, Remdesivir, Favipiravir and Regn3450 – 3471 – 3479.” (F)
Interim Guidance for Preparing Ebola Treatment Centers
Who this is for: State and local health departments and acute care hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers.
What this is for: Guidance to assist state and local health departments and acute care hospitals as they develop preparedness plans to serve as Ebola treatment centers.
1. Ebola treatment centers are prepared to provide comprehensive care to people diagnosed with Ebola virus disease (EVD) for the duration of a patient’s illness.
2. Designation as an Ebola treatment center will be a decision made between state and local health authorities and the hospital administration, informed by the results of a CDC site visit conducted by an interdisciplinary team of subject matter experts.
3. Decisions to receive a patient with EVD should be informed by discussions with public health authorities and referring physicians, depending on the status of the patient. (G)
“The UN Children’s Fund said more than 82,500 children are being prepared for the new school year in Ebola-affected areas of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo .
UNICEF said it was scaling up education, health and water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to assist the schools to provide a protective learning environment for children and their teachers.” (H)
“Days after the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an end to a deadly Ebola outbreak in the western province of Équateur, a new one emerged in North Kivu province. With the number of cases and death toll rising rapidly, the country’s ministry of health, the World Health Organization, and partners are working to launch a rapid and effective response that includes the use of an experimental vaccine. But their decision not to vaccinate women who are pregnant or lactating unfairly deprives them of the protection they deserve against this deadly disease….
Some contacts, though, won’t get the vaccine. Pregnant women and those who are lactating are being excluded from this life-saving intervention. From a public health perspective and an ethical perspective, the decision to exclude pregnant and lactating women is utterly indefensible.
There’s no question that evidence about the safety of the Ebola vaccine in pregnancy is limited. But what we don’t know is dwarfed by what we do know. We know that in previous outbreaks, up to 90 percent of pregnant women infected with Ebola died from it. We know that nearly 100 percent of the pregnancies of Ebola-infected women end in miscarriage or neonatal death. And we also know that pregnant and lactating women are more likely than many others in the population to be caring for sick relatives, and thus are among those most likely to be infected. Indeed, the most recent WHO situation report on Ebola in the DRC shows that a large proportion of the cases are among women of childbearing potential.” (I)
“The World Health Organization (WHO) reports the next seven to 10 days are critical in controlling the spread of the Ebola virus in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Its latest update reported 111 cases of Ebola, with 83 confirmed and 28 probable, including 75 deaths.
The WHO reports it is continuing to rapidly scale-up its response to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including in Oicha, a town difficult to reach because of security concerns.
More than 100 armed groups are operating in these areas, putting some places, known as Red Zones, off limits because of the dangers. But, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told VOA health workers have had access to all places they need to go with the help of MONUSCO, U.N. peacekeepers acting as escorts…
Lindmeier said the next week is critical in efforts to prevent Ebola from spreading to areas that cannot be reached.
“The quicker we can respond and in which we can get to people, to talk to them about how to protect themselves, how to prevent infection, how to deal with infected family members and loved ones, the better it is for any future control,” he said. “So, the earlier we get to any place where this outbreak could possibly reach, the better.”” (J)
(A) DRC: Doctor stricken with Ebola in rebel stronghold, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/drc-doctor-stricken-ebola-rebel-stronghold-180824095226217.html
(B) Ebola outbreak now at 105 cases, and bordering countries are on alert, by Lena H. Sun and Lenny Bernstein, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ebola-outbreak-now-at-105-cases-and-bordering-countries-are-on-alert/2018/08/24/3b7a58a2-a7c2-11e8-a656-943eefab5daf_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.53c97b919f02
(C) Military Escorts Back Ebola Response in Restive Congo Region, by William Clowes and Ignatius Ssuuna, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-23/military-escorts-back-ebola-response-in-restive-congo-region
(D) Uganda opens Ebola treatment units at border with DRC, https://punchng.com/uganda-opens-ebola-treatment-units-at-border-with-drc/
(E) Congo approves 4 experimental Ebola treatments in outbreak, by CARLEY PETESCH, https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/congo-approves-experimental-ebola-treatments-outbreak-57328608
(F) Two of first 10 people recover from Ebola outbreak in Congo after receiving experimental treatment, officials say, by Saleh Mwanamilongo, https://nationalpost.com/news/congo-2-who-received-experimental-ebola-treatment-recover
(G) Interim Guidance for Preparing Ebola Treatment Centers, https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/healthcare-us/preparing/treatment-centers.html
(H) UNICEF prepares DRC school children for Ebola response, https://punchng.com/unicef-prepares-drc-school-children-for-ebola-response/amp/
(I) Pregnant and lactating women should be vaccinated in an Ebola outbreak , by Ruth Faden, Ruth Karron, and Carleigh Krubiner, https://www.statnews.com/2018/08/27/ebola-vaccine-pregnant-lactating-women/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=9fa414a249-MR_COPY_12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-9fa414a249-149527969
(J) WHO: Rapid Response Needed to Stem Ebola Outbreak in DR Congo, https://www.voanews.com/a/who-rapid-response-needed-to-stem-ebola-outbreak-in-dr-congo/4547478.html