Ebola, Congo, pandemics | Homeland Security Newswire

EbolaEbola case count reaches 60 as DRC neighbors take precautions

Published 8 June 2018

The Ebola case count in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has now reached 60, as an official from the World Health Organization (WHO) announced 2 more suspected cases. There are now 37 confirmed cases, 14 probable, and 9 suspected, 2 more suspected cases than yesterday. The death toll still sits at 27. Former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thomas Frieden, writing in Science, said the Ebola vaccine is only a tool—not a disease game-changer.

The Ebola case count in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has now reached 60, as an official from the World Health Organization (WHO) announced 2 more suspected cases.

Peter Salama, MD, the WHO’s deputy director-general of emergency response, said on Twitter today there are now 37 confirmed cases, 14 probable, and 9 suspected, 2 more suspected cases than yesterday. The death toll still sits at 27.

WHO strategic plan
The news comes as the WHO released its strategic plan for Ebola virus preparedness in nine countries neighboring the DRC. The countries with the highest preparedness priority are the Central African Republic (CAR) and Republic of Congo, followed by Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, and Uganda. These countries share the Congo River, Bikoro Lake, and porous land borders with the DRC.

At the beginning of this outbreak, the WHO said the regional risk of Ebola was high given geographical factors.

“Approximately over 1,000 people travel per day by river, road, and air at the major points of entry connected to the affected Bikoro health zone in DRC. Mbandaka is located on a major national and international river, increasing the risk both of local propagation and spread to neighbouring countries,” the WHO said in the strategic plan.

The agency evaluated the nine at-risk countries based on the external assessments of preparedness, known as the Joint External Evaluations (JEEs), a report card on the ability of a country to handle an outbreak. Seven of the nine countries have completed JEEs, identifying weak points in outbreak readiness. CAR and the Republic of Congo have not completed their JEEs.