CDC Director Warns Latest Ebola Outbreak Could Become Entrenched

Outbreak in DRC’s North Kivu Province Not Contained

A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a boy who had contact with an Ebola patient. (Source: Olivia Acland/Reuters/Washington Post)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said this week that the latest Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo may not be controlled and potentially become entrenched. The outbreak, which began four months ago, has nearly 300 cases and 186 deaths. If the outbreak became entrenched, health officials warn they will not be able to trace contacts, stop transmission chains and control the outbreak. Such conditions could cause unpredictable outbreak of the disease, impacting travel and trade. 

Response to this latest outbreak is complicated by active conflict in the region. Violence, security concerns, and deep mistrust of the government are impacting response. An estimated 60 to 80 percent of new confirmed cases have no confirmed link to previous cases, making it very difficult to trace transmission and provide treatment. More from the Washington Post here.