Article by
Dani Reiter
Updated
November 15th, 2019

USAID Funding Reaches $266 Million To Stop Ongoing Ebola Outbreak

USA is the largest single country donor to the Ebola virus outbreak response in Africa

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it is providing nearly $56 million dollars in additional humanitarian assistance to combat the ongoing Ebola Zaire virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Announced in a press release on November 8, 2019, this USAID additional funding increases the USA’s total to more than $266 million since the beginning of the outbreak in the DRC during August 2018.

A total of 3,286 Ebola Zaire virus cases and 2,191 related fatalities have been reported in the DRC, as of November 9, 2019.

The USA is the largest single country donor to the Ebola response and is also funding critical preparedness efforts in the neighboring countries of the Republics of Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as in unaffected, but at-risk, areas of the DRC.

With this funding, the USA continues to provide life-saving assistance through on-the-ground partners, including activities to prevent and control infections in health facilities, enhanced surveillance for the disease, training for health-care workers, community-engagement efforts, the promotion of safe and dignified burials, and food to support people and communities affected by Ebola.

The U.S. Government has a Disaster-Assistance Response Team on the ground in the DRC made up of disaster and health experts from USAID and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Stopping the spread of Ebola requires a concerted, unified effort from the entire international community including the United Nations and regional governments - all in close partnership with the Government of the DRC and local communities.

Recent Ebola Zaire vaccine and medication news

  • November 7, 2019 – the Janssen division of Johnson & Johnson announced it had filed for two approvals from European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its 2-dose prime-boost Ebola Zaire protective vaccine regimen, known as Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN-Filo.
  • November 6, 2019 – an administrative coordinator at the Northern Virginia Emergency Medical Services Council said Washington Dulles International Airport ‘has hired staff to potentially screen travelers for the Ebola virus.’  
  • October 18, 2019 – a single-dose of a highly diluted v920 VSV-Ebola virus (EREBOV) vaccine remained fully protective against disease in experimentally infected monkeys, according to the National Institutes of Health scientists. h
  • October 11, 2019 – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the marketing approval of a rapid diagnostic test, the OraQuick Ebola Rapid Antigen test provides a rapid, presumptive Ebola diagnosis, that must be confirmed. 
  • September 24, 2019 – an investigational treatment for the Ebola virus disease will receive advanced development support of $14 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. 

The United States strongly encourages other donors to provide additional financial and technical support to help end the outbreak and calls upon all the governments of all countries that identify suspected cases of Ebola and other deadly infectious diseases to report them promptly and transparently, in accordance with their obligations under the International Health Regulations.

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Previously, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the existing Level 2 Travel Alert regarding the Ebola Zaire outbreak in the DRC.

This August 29, 2019, Travel Alert says ‘travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects or infected animals.’

‘The risk of Ebola infection for most travelers to DRC is low.’

But, the CDC says ‘travelers to the DRC should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or after travel.’

And, the CDC issued Travel Alerts regarding Measles and Polio outbreaks in DRC. The CDC recommends that all travelers to DRC be vaccinated fully against both measles and polio, prior to traveling to the DRC.

Ebola News is published by Vax-Before-Travel