As Ebola vaccinations begin in South Sudan, DRC officials highlight challenges, perceptions

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Vaccinations against Ebola in a South Sudan city close to the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo where the virus continues to spread, began today, the latest recognition of the potential for the ongoing war-zone outbreak still not officially deemed a Public Health Emergency of International Concern — or PHEIC — to become one. […]

Marburg finding in Sierra Leone identifies threat — without an outbreak

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The discovery of active, transmittable Marburg virus in fruit bats caught in three Sierra Leone locations marks the first time the virus has been found in West Africa and has identified a potential public health threat without a single known case of human illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced today. The Marburg virus, […]

It took a community to bring a “miraculously young” Ebola patient home

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If you don’t subscribe to the Democratic Republic of Congo Health Ministry updates (probably not, right?) here’s a reason to do so. Dr. Daniel Lucey, who volunteered twice to treat patients during the West Africa crisis suggested this way of keeping track of the current outbreak, so Science Speaks does. Often the news it brings is […]

Preparations for South Sudan Ebola vaccinations another sign of change

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The training of vaccinators, clinicians and local organizers in South Sudan to begin administration of anti-Ebola vaccines to health workers in areas bordering Democratic Republic of Congo active Ebola transmission zones marks another moment in the current outbreak reflecting both immense challenges and significant progress. More than 2,100 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine have been allocated […]

Ebola studies highlight long-delayed momentum in face of unprecedented obstacles

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Knowledge gained during West Africa’s outbreak, from persistence of infections to a vaccine’s potential and needs to integrate research are informing responses A little more than a month after the first time Liberia was declared free of the Ebola outbreak that had devastated communities from its most remote reaches to its capital, an oral swab […]

Start of Ebola vaccinations in Uganda tells more of setbacks, continued hurdles, than progress

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The announcement Wednesday that vaccinations against Ebola have begun for Uganda health workers in districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo “even before Uganda detects a single case,” as the World Health Organization put it, can be seen, as the agency’s release said, as evidence that “health authorities are being cautious, having learnt bitter lessons […]

WHO emergency committee: DRC Ebola outbreak “extraordinary” but not a PHEIC

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While security concerns stemming from ongoing local armed conflict pose extraordinary challenges, and proximity to neighboring countries raise risks of cross border spread, the current outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo does not meet the criteria to be declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern — or PHEIC — a committee […]

Citing overlooked social, economic, health impacts, study estimates West Africa Ebola outbreak costs at more than $53 billion

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Estimate exceeds previous estimates by more than $20 billion Deaths from non-Ebola causes contributed to highest West Africa outbreak costs, authors say During the 2013 to 2016 spread of Ebola across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as health systems and health workers were overtaken by the impacts of the virus, about a million fewer children […]

Signs of Ebola control, cautious optimism reflect lessons, missed opportunities, continuing gaps

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More than two million travelers checked at 37 points of entry — airports, river ports, and border crossings —  between the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries. More than six thousand people who had contact with the sick, including health workers, or with others who had contact with them, vaccinated. Three different investigational treatment […]

What we’re reading: Changes needed to stop Ebola, other threats of pan-epidemic potential

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Health-care worker infections add to Ebola challenge in Congo – The challenges arising when a new Ebola outbreak surfaces in an area where the virus hasn’t been seen before include the exposure of frontline health workers without experience in necessary detection and protection measures. The resulting infections among medical staff who are needed most and […]