The Ebola Resurgence

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The Ebola Resurgence

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The Ebola Resurgence

Ebola resurgence in Guinea: UNICEF stands by the Government to contain this new epidemic

https://www.unicef.org/wca/press-releas ... w-epidemic


CONAKRY/DAKAR, 15 February 2021 – Following confirmation by the Guinean government of the worrying resurgence of the Ebola epidemic in the N’zérékoré region in South-East Guinea, near the Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire borders, UNICEF is working closely with health authorities to provide technical and logistical support to urgently respond to the new Ebola outbreak.

Through its field office located in in the affected N’zérékoré region, UNICEF is working in coordination with the Regional Directorate of Health, WHO and other partners to develop and rollout the emergency Ebola response plan, especially in the areas of risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control; water, sanitation and hygiene; pediatric care; and supplies and logistics.

An Ebola epidemic hit West Africa between 2013 and 2016, officially causing more than 11,300 deaths in three countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), including more than 2,500 in Guinea. Guinea is currently facing three epidemics (yellow fever, measles, polio and Ebola), in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Guinea has a lot of experience in fighting Ebola, and UNICEF salutes the Ministry of Health for taking action quickly. Mobilizing the COVID-19 coordination structures is a great start for synergy and speed”, said Pierre Ngom, UNICEF Guinea Representative.


Ebola resurgence in Guinea: UNICEF stands by the Government to contain this new epidemic
On February 14, 2021 the Guinean government declared an outbreak of Ebola disease in the N'Zérékoré prefecture, sub-prefecture of Gouecké

CONAKRY/DAKAR, 15 February 2021 – Following confirmation by the Guinean government of the worrying resurgence of the Ebola epidemic in the N’zérékoré region in South-East Guinea, near the Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire borders, UNICEF is working closely with health authorities to provide technical and logistical support to urgently respond to the new Ebola outbreak.

Through its field office located in in the affected N’zérékoré region, UNICEF is working in coordination with the Regional Directorate of Health, WHO and other partners to develop and rollout the emergency Ebola response plan, especially in the areas of risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control; water, sanitation and hygiene; pediatric care; and supplies and logistics.

An Ebola epidemic hit West Africa between 2013 and 2016, officially causing more than 11,300 deaths in three countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), including more than 2,500 in Guinea. Guinea is currently facing three epidemics (yellow fever, measles, polio and Ebola), in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Guinea has a lot of experience in fighting Ebola, and UNICEF salutes the Ministry of Health for taking action quickly. Mobilizing the COVID-19 coordination structures is a great start for synergy and speed”, said Pierre Ngom, UNICEF Guinea Representative.
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Resurgence of Ebola in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

2/7/21


https://www.afro.who.int/news/resurgenc ... blic-congo


Brazzaville – The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today announced that a new case of Ebola has been detected in Butembo, a city in North Kivu Province, where a previous outbreak was declared over in June 2020.

The Butembo branch of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) confirmed Ebola in samples taken from a patient with Ebola-like symptoms who had sought treatment at a local health centre. The woman was the wife of an Ebola survivor. She has since died.

Butembo was one of the epicentres of the previous Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC. It is not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following a major outbreak.

Due to the enormous local capacity built in the previous outbreak, the North Kivu Provincial health authorities are leading the current response with support from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO provided training to laboratory technicians, contact tracers, local vaccination teams and reached out to community groups to raise Ebola awareness as well as put in place an Ebola survivor programme.

“The expertise and capacity of local health teams has been critical in detecting this new Ebola case and paving the way for a timely response,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “WHO is providing support to local and national health authorities to quickly trace, identify and treat the contacts to curtail the further spread of the virus.”

WHO epidemiologists are on the ground investigating the case. Already more than 70 contacts have been identified. Disinfection of sites visited by patient is also ongoing.

Samples from the confirmed Ebola patient have been sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Research’s main laboratory in Kinshasa for genome sequencing to identify the strain of the Ebola and to determine its link to the previous outbreak.

The DRC’s 10th Ebola outbreak which lasted for nearly two years was the second largest in the world and by the time it ended there were 3481 cases, 2299 deaths and 1162 survivors.

Response to the outbreak was particularly challenging due to insecurity that disrupted emergency efforts.
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11 Kentuckians have traveled to areas with Ebola outbreaks, but risk is low, Beshear says

3/17/21


https://www.courier-journal.com/story/n ... 723160001/


Kentucky health officials are aware of 11 people from the state who have traveled to Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo, two African countries experiencing Ebola outbreaks, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday.

"We don't believe there is any significant risk at the moment, but we are and we want to be transparent about it," Beshear said during his virtual COVID-19 update Tuesday.

Guinea, which was on the front lines of the 2014 Ebola epidemic, confirmed three people there had died from the virus in mid-February. They were the first new cases since 2016.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on its website last month travel restrictions to passengers from the countries but said the risk of Ebola to the United States is "extremely low."

The Food and Drug Administration approved the first Ebola vaccine for use in the United States in 2019.

Also:Kentucky reports 819 new COVID-19 cases, 24 more deaths Tuesday

Beshear said none of the 11 Kentuckians are at high risk but "we believe in being prepared."

There are six Ebola assesment hospitals in the state, and health officials are working with them to make sure they're prepared for any potential patients, Beshear added.

"We believe that as much as you can be for something like that, we are ready, but the risk is low," Beshear said. "But I want you to know we're on top of it.
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New Ebola outbreak likely sparked by a person infected 5 years ago

3/12/21


https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/03 ... -years-ago


An Ebola outbreak in Guinea that has so far sickened at least 18 people and killed nine has stirred difficult memories of the devastating epidemic that struck the West African country between 2013 and 2016, along with neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone, leaving more than 11,000 people dead.

But it may not just be the trauma that has persisted. The virus causing the new outbreak barely differs from the strain seen 5 to 6 years ago, genomic analyses by three independent research groups have shown, suggesting the virus lay dormant in a survivor of the epidemic all that time. “This is pretty shocking,” says virologist Angela Rasmussen of Georgetown University. “Ebolaviruses aren’t herpesviruses”—which are known to cause long-lasting infections—“and generally RNA viruses don’t just hang around not replicating at all.”

Scientists knew the Ebola virus can persist for a long time in the human body; a resurgence in Guinea in 2016 originated from a survivor who shed the virus in his semen more than 500 days after his infection and infected a partner through sexual intercourse. “But to have a new outbreak start from latent infection 5 years after the end of an epidemic is scary and new,” says Eric Delaporte, an infectious disease physician at the University of Montpellier who has studied Ebola survivors and is a member of one of the three teams. Outbreaks ignited by Ebola survivors are still very rare, Delaporte says, but the finding raises tricky questions about how to prevent them without further stigmatizing Ebola survivors.

The current outbreak in Guinea was detected after a 51-year-old nurse who had originally been diagnosed with typhoid and malaria died in late January. Several people who attended her funeral fell ill, including members of her family and a traditional healer who had treated her, and four of them died. Researchers suspected Ebola might have caused all of the deaths, and in early February they discovered the virus in the blood of the nurse’s husband. An Ebola outbreak was officially declared on 13 February, with the nurse the likely index case.

The Guinea Center for Research and Training in Infectious Diseases (CERFIG) and the country’s National Hemorrhagic Fever Laboratory have each read viral genomes from four patients; researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, sequenced two genomes. In three postings today on the website virological.org, the groups agree the outbreak was caused by the Makona strain of a species called Zaire ebolavirus, just like the past epidemic. A phylogenetic tree shows the new virus falls between virus samples from the 2013–16 epidemic.

Until recently, scientists assumed Ebola epidemics start when a virus jumps species, from an animal host to humans. Theoretically, that could have happened in Guinea, says virologist Stephan Günther of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, who worked with one of the three teams. But given the similarity between viruses from the epidemic and the new ones, “It must be incredibly unlikely.”

Outside scientists agree but say it hasn’t been proved that Ebola lay dormant in one person for 5 years. “From the tree, you’d conclude that it is a virus that persisted in some way in the area, and sure, most likely in a survivor,” says Dan Bausch, a veteran of several Ebola outbreaks who leads the United Kingdom’s Public Health Rapid Support Team. But it is hard to rule out scenarios such as a small, unrecognized chain of human to human transmission, Bausch adds: “For example, a 2014 survivor infects his wife a few years after recovery, who infects another male, who survives and carries virus for a few years, then infecting another women, who is then seen by a nurse who dies”—the index case in the new outbreak.

The nurse was not known to be a survivor herself, but she could have had contact with a survivor privately or through her job, or she might have been infected herself years ago with few symptoms. “Figuring out what exactly happened is one of the biggest questions now,” Bausch says.

Another ongoing outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was also started by transmission from someone infected during a previous outbreak, Delaporte notes. (The survivor had tested negative for Ebola twice after his illness in 2020.) Taken together, that suggests humans are now as likely to be the source of a new outbreak of Ebola as wildlife, he says. “This is clearly a new paradigm for how these outbreaks start.” Outbreaks sparked by survivors may even become more likely, now that increasing mobility and other factors have caused each eruption of Ebola to become bigger, resulting in more survivors, says Fabian Leendertz, a wildlife veterinarian who was involved in the sequencing.

The cases raise important new research questions, Bausch says: “How do we need to change our response to escape from the cycle of outbreak-response-reintroduction-outbreak?” he asks. “Can we use new therapeutics to clear virus from survivors?”

But the most immediate question is what these results mean for Ebola survivors, who face a lot of hardship already. Many have not only lost friends and family to the virus, but also struggle with long-term aftereffects, such as muscle pains and eye problems. In a study published in February, Delaporte found that about half of more than 800 Ebola survivors in Guinea still reported symptoms 2 years after their illness, and one-quarter after 4 years.

On top of this, survivors have faced intense stigmatization. Many conspiracy theories swirled in the aftermath of the epidemic, including the claim that survivors had sold family members to international organizations to save themselves, says Frederic Le Marcis, a social anthropologist at the École Normale Supérieure of Lyon and the French Research Institute for Development, who is working in Guinea. One man, he says, was the only one to survive out of 11 family members and when he came back, no one wanted to work with him. “He was seen as someone untrustworthy.” News that a survivor likely touched off the current outbreak could cause further problems for survivors, Le Marcis says: “Will they be highlighted as a source of danger? Will they be chased out of their own families and communities?”

Alpha Keita, a virologist who led the sequencing work at CERFIG, worries about stigmatization and even violence against survivors have occupied him since he first got the surprising results a week ago. One important message to the public should be that some people infected with Ebola show few symptoms, meaning people may be survivors without knowing it. “So don’t stigmatize Ebola survivors—you don’t know that you are not a survivor yourself,” Keita says.

Bausch calls for an educational campaign explaining that unprotected sex with an Ebola survivor may pose a risk, but casual contacts such as shaking hands and working together do not. And although there needs to be some medical monitoring of survivors, it cannot just be about testing them for Ebola virus, he says. “We need to recognize and assist with all the other challenges, physical, mental, and social, that survivors and their families face.” The key, Bausch says, is to “not just treat survivors as some hot potato risk of starting another outbreak.” It also presents a challenge to the country’s health care system if every patient with fever and diarrhea has to be a considered potential Ebola case, Le Marcis says.

Fortunately, Ebola vaccines and treatments have become available in recent years. Already, several thousand contacts of the new Ebola patients, and contacts of these contacts, have been vaccinated. Health care workers are being immunized as well. Vaccinating survivors might even help clear latent infections, Rasmussen says. And the fact that viral samples were sequenced in Guinea this time around shows the country’s scientific capabilities have improved, Delaporte says: “Seven years ago, when the epidemic started, there was no infrastructure in Guinea to be able to do this.”
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Bombshell analysis traces new Ebola outbreak to survivor of West Africa crisis

3/12/21


https://www.statnews.com/2021/03/12/bom ... ca-crisis/


A survivor of the massive 2014-2016 West African Ebola outbreak almost certainly triggered an outbreak currently underway in Guinea, according to a new genetic analysis, news that has landed like a bombshell in the community of researchers who study the dangerous virus.

The analysis suggests that a survivor of the historic Ebola outbreak continued harboring the virus at least five years after being infected, eventually transmitting it to someone. Previously, the longest an Ebola survivor was believed to have shed the virus was about 500 days.

“I was completely shocked,” Angela Rasmussen, a virologist affiliated with the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, told STAT.

The discovery was revealed in a genetic analysis of viruses from the current outbreak that was conducted by scientists from Guinea, the Institut Pasteur in Senegal, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the University of Edinburgh. It was posted online Friday.

The scientists compared several genetic sequences from the current outbreak — in which 18 people have been infected to date — with sequences from viruses collected during the West African outbreak. Given the long interval between the two events, the assumption had been that this new outbreak was triggered by a new spillover of Ebola viruses from nature. That wasn’t what researchers found.

“The new genomes are most closely related to five identical Ebola virus Makona variant genomes sampled in August 2014 from the same region,” the scientists reported. Makona is the name of the Ebola Zaire strain that caused the 2014-2016 outbreak.

The new viruses had a small number of mutations — roughly a dozen. That’s far fewer than what one would have expected if there had been ongoing but undetected transmission of the virus in the region.

On Twitter, Rasmussen noted that given the rate at which the Makona variant evolved during the 2014 to 2016 period, the current viruses would have been expected to have amassed hundreds of mutations.

“The results are quite remarkable,” said Mike Ryan, who heads the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program. Ryan said that the rate at which the virus had changed was far slower than the rate at which the Makona strain evolved during the 2014-2016 outbreak.

He warned the news could lead to further stigmatization of Ebola survivors, if they are seen within their communities as possible long-term sources of the virus. “Survivors deserve our support,” Ryan said. “They’ve been to hell and back.”

He suggested the finding underscores the need for programs that support survivors and that include follow-ups on their health. It also highlights the need to learn more about the phenomenon known as “viral persistence.”

Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of emerging diseases from Canada’s University of Manitoba, recently received a research grant to do just that; he will be working with survivors of the West African outbreak in Sierra Leone.
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Ohio health officials monitoring more than 40 residents for exposure to Ebola in Africa

3/26/21


https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/202 ... 991702002/


Health officials are monitoring more than 40 Ohioans who may have had exposure to Ebola after returning from remote areas of Africa with active outbreaks.

Columbus Public Health is helping to monitor 42 people while Franklin County Public Health is assisting in monitoring three, spokespeople for each department said.

Keeping an eye on people who have traveled to parts of the world where there are outbreaks of dangerous diseases is common practice, Franklin County Public Health spokeswoman Mitzi Kline said via email.

"This isn’t the first time we have monitored like this," she said. "It is a public health prevention measure to assure we prevent local cases."

In a five-page statement explaining Tuesday why he vetoed Senate Bill 22, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said it is believed that all of those individuals, the letter listed 44 people being actively being monitored, are at a "very low risk" of having contracted the deadly virus.

Ohio has been coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since March 6 to monitor people traveling from affected countries Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, medical director of the Ohio Department of Health said during DeWine's Monday COVID-19 briefing. Travelers who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus are to be monitored for 21 days to see if any symptoms develop, Vanderhoff said.

"The CDC and the World Health Organization believes the risk to the U.S. is very low," Vanderhoff said. "However, it's not absent."

Earlier this year, the WHO confirmed the first cases of Ebola since the outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2016 that killed more than 11,000 people. On Feb. 14, WHO declared an Ebola outbreak in Guinea after three fatal Ebola cases were confirmed in the rural community of Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture.

Guinea was one of the three hardest-hit countries during the last outbreak, the largest since Ebola was first discovered in 1976. The virus emerged in Guinea and ultimately infected more than 28,000 people in that country and in Sierra Leone and Liberia before the emergency was lifted in March 2016.

In a Feb. 26 statement, the CDC said it is closely following the outbreak in not only Guinea, but also the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The CDC said the outbreaks were centered in remote area of those countries, with the risk of Ebola spreading to the United States being "extremely low."

In accordance with public health measures, travelers returning to the U.S. from those two countries are being sent to one of six airports, where they are being asked to share information that will be passed onto to state and local health departments that will monitor them for symptoms.

The White House announced on Feb. 16 that officials are working with leaders in Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia to limit the spread to neighboring countries.

This isn't the first time Ohio has had a run-in with Ebola.

In October 2014, Amber Vinson, a nurse from Texas, was diagnosed with Ebola after treating a patient who had contracted the disease in Africa. The day before she was diagnosed, she was in Akron.

The 2003 Firestone High School graduate and Kent State alumna had flown to Akron to visit family and plan for her upcoming wedding. She showed no symptoms and had consulted with the CDC before flying.

But, once Vinson was diagnosed with Ebola, everyone who came in contact with her in Akron, including her friends and relatives, were monitored by the Summit County health department, CDC and Ohio Department of Health officials.

An Akron bridal shop where Vinson and her bridal party had gone to try on dresses also closed voluntarily to clean the shop and eventually fell victim to the circumstances around the Ebola scare and went out of business.
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Health officials monitoring dozens in US for Ebola

3/27/21


https://thepointsguy.com/news/cdc-monit ... for-ebola/


Local health authorities in several parts of the United States are monitoring dozens of travelers for Ebola after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ordered airlines to collect information on people who’d been in several western African countries, including Guinea or the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Washington state is monitoring at least 23 travelers. Another 45 are being watched in Ohio. Four people are also being monitored in Oregon.

Ebola is highly contagious and causes severe illness that often leads to death. Symptoms include fever, headache, pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

There is an ongoing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa right now. The CDC calls the risk to Americans “very low,” but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one is taking any chances. The CDC announced on Friday it was spending $20 million from the Infection Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund for preparedness and response in DRC, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

“Even one case of Ebola is too many,” said CDC Ebola Response Incident Manager Joel Montgomery, Ph.D, CAPT USPHS. “These funds allow CDC and its partners to quickly put in place response, preparedness, and post-outbreak programs and activities, learn more about the virus, and protect the health of the American people and people around the world.”

The CDC said back in February when the outbreak began:

“Air travel has the potential to transport people, some of whom may have been exposed to a communicable disease, anywhere across the globe in less than 24 hours. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. government will institute public health measures for the very small number of travelers arriving from DRC and Guinea.”

Just like in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, travelers coming from West Africa are only being allowed to fly into six U.S. airports. They are being screened and will be monitored via contact tracing. Travelers from West Africa will be monitored for three weeks.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the current outbreaks appear to be close to being contained. Nine out of 18 infected in Guinea have died, and six people have died out of 12 cases in DRC.

The last confirmed Ebola case in the United States was back in 2014 when 11 were treated in U.S. hospitals.
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The next wave? More than 60 travelers being monitored for Ebola in three states

3/31/21


https://pandemic.news/2021-03-31-travel ... break.html


More than 60 travelers in three states are currently being monitored for possible infection with the Ebola virus. Twenty-three individuals in Washington state are under observation for the pathogen, alongside 45 people in Ohio and four in Oregon.

Despite ongoing observation of these people, health authorities have insisted that the risk of Ebola entering the country is “extremely low.”

A March 25 statement by the Washington Department of Health (DOH) said the 23 “low-risk individuals” came from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some regions in the two countries, both located in West Africa, are currently experiencing Ebola outbreaks. It added that local public health officials in the state have been in contact with the 23 people, who will be observed for 21 days following their arrival into the country.

Meanwhile, the Columbus Dispatch reported on March 26 that 45 people in Ohio are currently being observed for Ebola symptoms. According to their respective spokespersons, Columbus Public Health is helping monitor 42 individuals, while Franklin County Public Health is keeping tabs on three people. Franklin County Public Health spokeswoman Mitzi Kline told the outlet through an email that monitoring people who have traveled to outbreak-stricken areas is “common practice.” She added: “This isn’t the first time we have monitored like this. It is a public health prevention measure to assure we prevent local cases.”

Also on March 25, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) said four people in the state are being monitored for the disease. Local NBC affiliate KGW 8 reported that the state’s health agency did not say where the monitored individuals are located. OHA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Leman said: “We want to make sure these individuals have the support they need to monitor their health, stay in contact with public health officials and safely get help with medical services if it comes to that.”

Despite the cases being monitored, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reassured Americans that there is little to no chance of an Ebola outbreak in the country. It said in a February 2020 press release that “the risk of Ebola [coming] to the U.S. is extremely low.” The CDC also added that it is “closely following the outbreaks of Ebola” in the affected countries, committing to collaborate with the said nations “to end these outbreaks before they grow into epidemics.”

Ebola is resurging in West Africa, concurrent with the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic

The three states monitoring recently-arrived travelers followed a shocking discovery by scientists. According to researchers, the latest Ebola outbreak may have been caused by an individual who contracted the pathogen some years ago. A comparison of the most recent virus and the earlier variant found that their genetic sequences were “remarkably similar.” (Related: Ebola survivor infected five years ago may have started new outbreak in Guinea.)

Based on the discovery, it would mean that the latest outbreak of the virus did not come from animal to human transmission. Rather, it would appear that it hid in a “persistently infected survivor” of the earlier Ebola epidemic which occurred from 2013 to 2016.

World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Program Executive Director Dr. Michael Ryan branded the findings as “scary” and said they suggested the infection could lie dormant for years and transmit itself through sexual intercourse. While scientists have long known that Ebola can persist in bodily fluids, it is highly unusual for it to remain undetected for such a period. (Related: If Ebola remains in semen of infected men, why were male Ebola victims in US ‘cleared’ as virus-free?)

At least 18 cases and nine fatalities related to Ebola have been reported in Guinea as of writing. However, WHO officials said further testing would be needed and drawing conclusions about the actual cause of the outbreak is too premature. On the other hand, the last confirmed Ebola cases in the U.S. arrived during the earlier epidemic, where 11 people received treatment. Most of these involved people who had contracted the virus outside American soil.
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Twenty-three travelers in Washington state being monitored for possible Ebola infection

4/5/21



https://pandemic.news/2021-04-05-travel ... ction.html


Health authorities in the state of Washington are now observing 23 people for the Ebola virus. The 23 travelers are from the West African countries of Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where there are current outbreaks of the disease. However, state health officials are reassuring Washington residents that there is a “very low” risk of contracting Ebola on American soil.

The Washington State Department of Health (Washington DOH) said in a March 25 statement that the 23 people will be monitored for roughly 21 days after they arrive in the U.S. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an order requiring airlines to collect … contact information for passengers who were in [the two West African countries],” it added.

The statement continued that public health officials are notified once the persons under monitoring land in the U.S., so the necessary checks can be performed. Nevertheless, the Washington DOH reiterated that the risk of getting Ebola in the U.S. is very low.

The pathogen behind the “rare but deadly” disease is mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa. People can contract the Ebola virus through direct contact with an infected animal, or an infected person who is sick or has died. Furthermore, it can be contracted through bodily fluids such as vomit, blood or semen – making it highly contagious.

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Ebola virus can live in the semen of male survivors for more than three years. Meanwhile, a separate effort by researchers discovered that the latest Ebola outbreak in West Africa may have been caused by someone who contracted the virus years earlier. The discovery shows that the virus may have hidden in a “persistently infected survivor” of a prior Ebola epidemic.

World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Program Executive Director Dr. Michael Ryan branded the findings as “scary.” He remarked that based on the discovery, the infection could lie dormant for years and transmit itself through sexual intercourse. (Related: Ebola survivor infected five years ago may have started new outbreak in Guinea.)

Two other states are also monitoring travelers from West Africa for any signs of Ebola

Washington is not the only state monitoring travelers who visited Guinea and the DRC. Health authorities are also observing an additional 45 people in Ohio and four in Oregon for any Ebola symptoms.

A March 26 report by the Columbus Dispatch said Columbus Public Health is monitoring 42 individuals, while Franklin County Public Health is keeping tabs on three people. Franklin County Public Health spokeswoman Mitzi Kline told the Dispatch via email: “This isn’t the first time we have monitored like this. It is a public health prevention measure to assure we prevent local cases.” She added that monitoring people who have traveled to areas with disease outbreaks such as Ebola is “common practice.” (Related: Fauci claims mandatory Wuhan coronavirus quarantines are “justified” – but not those for Ebola.)

Ohio Department of Health Medical Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff mirrored with Kline’s statements. During a March 22 briefing alongside Gov. Mike DeWine, the medical director said travelers who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus are observed for 21 days for any symptoms. He added that the state has been coordinating with the CDC since March 6 to monitor people coming from Ebola-stricken countries.

Vanderhoff remarked: “The CDC and WHO [believe] the risk [of Ebola] to the U.S. is very low. However, it’s not absent.”

Meanwhile, KGW 8 reported on March 25 that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is monitoring four people, who had traveled to the two West African countries, for the disease. The state health agency did not say where the individuals being observed were located. OHA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Leman said: “We want to make sure these individuals have the support they need to monitor their health, stay in contact with public health officials and safely get help with medical services if it comes to that.”

Back in February 2021, the CDC reiterated in a press release that “the risk of Ebola [coming] to the U.S. is extremely low.” The public health agency added that it is “closely following the outbreaks of Ebola” in the affected countries and pledged to collaborate with them “to end these outbreaks before they grow into epidemics.”
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Re: The Ebola Resurgence

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Twelfth outbreak declared in North Kivu province

updated 4/8/21

https://www.msf.org/drc-ebola-outbreak-crisis-update

Twelfth outbreak declared in North Kivu province

On 7 February 2021, DRC declared an outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu province, in the country's northeast.

North Kivu – along with South Kivu and Ituri provinces – was the location of the country’s devastating tenth outbreak, between August 2018 and June 2020, in which 3,470 cases were recorded and 2,287 people died. It was DRC’s largest-ever outbreak of the disease.
DRC's 12th outbreak - information as of 18 March 2021; figures provided by DRC Ministry of Health via WHO.

12
total cases
11
confirmed cases
6
total deaths

Current situation

The outbreak is located in the health zones near the city of Butembo. The number of cases is currently small. Vaccination of contacts, and contacts of contacts – using the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine – has taken place, with over 1,600 people vaccinated.

No new cases of Ebola have been reported since 1 March and the last patient left a treatment centre in Katwa on 21 March. Should there be no new cases confirmed and reported after 42 days since the last negative test of the last patient, the epidemic will be declared over at the beginning of May.

MSF response


MSF teams are responding to the outbreak in Matanda hospital, in Katwa health zone, and in Katitumba hospital, in Butembo health zone. Support includes providing medical supplies, training staff, and constructing and rehabilitating infrastructures to isolate suspected and confirmed patients.

In addition, we’re providing social support to high-risk contacts so they can be followed-up by the response team. Our activities have focused on supporting existing health facilities, preparing local health system teams to respond autonomously to possible future epidemics.

Previous outbreaks

Read more on DRC's tenth outbreak, in the country's northeast. DRC's eleventh outbreak was located in Équateur province, in the northwest.
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