One year in the past today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak of Ebola. Since then, more than 1,800 individuals have died, the virus has been carried to the massive city of Goma on the border of Rwanda and to close by Uganda, and violence has killed health employees. Politics, violence, and community doubt are thwarting efforts to contain the virus, which reveals no signs of abatement. Specialists say this cycle might easily spiral out of control. 3 more cases of Ebola have been confirmed this week in Goma, bringing the entire to 4 in the city.
The World Health Organization resulted in a global health warning about the present outbreak earlier this month and advised travel bans are “counterproductive” in stopping the spread of the illness.
Further exacerbating the turmoil is the resignation last week by Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga and the choice to shift leadership of the Ebola effort.
Oxfam, an international consortium of NGOs working in the DRC, warns the current cases in Goma and Uganda, “show the devastating potential for it to spiral out of control.”
There are many experimental vaccines for Ebola. However only one — made by Merck — is presently authorized for use in DRC.
Preliminary results point out it has high effectiveness; however, there are few supplies for now. (Merck tells Axios it has given more than 210,000 doses to WHO since the last year, and forecasts offering another roughly 900,000 over the following 6 to 18 months).