Ebola Returns in Congo, a Test of ‘Next Time’
In a remote forested region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ebola virus has resurfaced, killing as of this writing three people and putting another six in the hospital. This is not a drill.
In the wake of the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, in which nearly every facet of international responses were found wanting, much has changed. There are experimental Ebola vaccines stockpiled that have proven 100 percent effective in field trials in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization (WHO), which bore the brunt of global criticism for the world’s lackluster response to the virus’s emergence in Guinea in 2014, has created new departments, rules, and reforms aimed at improving its urgency and capacity to respond. And numerous other organizations, from the U.S. Agency for International Development to Doctors Without Borders have set up new surveillance and response systems, revamped their emergency policies, and vowed to do better “next time.” One humanitarian group, the Senegal based ALIMA, already has volunteer medical investigators in transit to the remote village.
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