Ebola Outbreak Records 245th Fatality

Travel Alerts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been issued by the CDC and State Department

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The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is now the 2nd largest on record with 245 fatalities, reported the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 27, 2018.   

The largest epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) recorded between December 2013 and April 2016, generated more than 28,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths in the African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

The WHO is warning health officials in adjacent countries that the North Kivu outbreak, which is taking place in a war zone, is likely to continue for months. 

And, this Ebola outbreak could easily spread throughout Africa. 

But, there is some good news as well. 

This Ebola outbreak has 4 highly-effective, investigational Ebola vaccines being tested. 

On November 26th, the Ministry of Health of the DRC announced that a randomized control trial has begun to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of drugs used in the treatment of Ebola patients. 

This clinical trial is the first-ever multi-drug trial for an Ebola treatment. 

Dr. Olly Ilunga, the DRC’s Minister of Health said in a press release, “These trials will contribute to building that knowledge, while we continue to respond on every front to bring the current outbreak to an end.” 

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Additionally, testing individuals for the Ebola virus gained 2 new options recently. 

On November 9th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Chembio Diagnostics DPP Ebola Antigen System, which is a rapid, single-use test for the detection of the Ebola virus.   

Previously, the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit was eligible for procurement to Ebola-affected countries, under the WHO Emergency Assessment. 

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. said in a press release, “By authorizing the first fingerstick test with a portable reader, we hope to better arm healthcare providers in the field to more quickly detect the virus in patients and improve patient outcomes.” 

To increase awareness amongst citizens of the USA, on October 19th, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) upgraded its Travel Alert rating to Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, regarding the Ebola outbreak in Africa. 

And, the U.S. State Department issued a “do not travel” alert because of armed group activity and major outbreaks of violence targeting civilians.

The best pre-trip travel advice often comes from a certified healthcare provider, who can discuss each person’s medications, medicine, and vaccination needs. 

International travel counseling sessions can be scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel.