What we’re reading: Latest DRC Ebola outbreak poses new challenges, highlights ongoing R & D, training and resource needs

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Sustained US preparedness needed for Ebola and other pan-epidemic threats – Dr. Daniel Lucey of Georgetown University’s O’Neil Institute is familiar both with the on-the-ground obstacles to preventing the spread of disease with pandemic potential, and the on-the-ground consequences of delayed or inadequate responses. Having completed two volunteer stints caring for patients during the 2013-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, he came back with a plan to educate policy makers and public on the shared and diverse challenges infectious disease outbreaks pose, and the increasing urgency of responding to them. That plan took form with the opening of the three-year exhibit Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World. The current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Lucey notes, calls for a strong U.S. response, and demonstrates the need for sustained U.S. involvement.

Smithsonian Spotlights “One Health” to Reduce Pandemic Risks – This article tells the story of how the 2013-2018 Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrated the established dangers of infections that jump from animals to humans and the increasing risks those infections will spread in a world made smaller by trade, travel and shifting demographics, and inspired the Outbreak exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak taking place in a war zone – Every outbreak presents different challenges, all require swift and comprehensive responses. Here is a breakdown of how, even as the most recent outbreak in the DRC spreads, the vaccination strategy used in the previous outbreak may not be possible in a region where armed conflict stands in the way of efforts and scatters potentially exposed individuals.

Prevention of Ebola virus disease through vaccination: Where we are in 2018 – Even as the current Ebola vaccination campaign in the DRC begins against formidable challenges, this Lancet piece explains why continued Ebola vaccine research and development is critical to success in containing the outbreaks to come.

WHO calls for free and secure access in responding to Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti describes the launch of the vaccination campaign in the DRC in the video at the end of this announcement from WHO.

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