Opinion: Urgent steps are needed to prevent Ebola from spinning out of control in the DRC

Global leaders should plan with the assumption that Ebola will get worse quickly in the DRC. That way they can help change the direction of this escalating outbreak.
An Ebola health worker at a treatment center in Beni, a city in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo Source: Al-hadji Kudra Maliro/AP

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing the second largest Ebola outbreak in history. This week has been the worst by far, with more than 100 new cases in the last 5 days. Since the outbreak began last summer, there have been more than 1,500 cases, with just over 1,000 deaths.

The DRC’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, along with international partners and nongovernmental organizations, are on the ground working to control the outbreak: helping provide care for the sick while trying to track down their contacts and working to vaccinate those contacts and their contacts. They are also trying to improve communication with affected communities about how Ebola is spread and how to prevent it.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT5 min readSociety
Opinion: Eliminating ‘Tensions’ In Health Care: A Litmus Test For Innovation
The challenge in applying the term innovation in health care is that the relationship between the "buyer" (patient) and the "seller" (provider) is convoluted by many other players.
STAT8 min read
Mental Health Apps Are Scooping Up Your Most Sensitive Data. Will You Benefit?
Mental health apps can put patients’ privacy at risk, and makers of some tools are using the data collected to create products that have nothing to do with health care.
STAT4 min read
Opinion: National Support For ‘Red-flag’ Gun Laws Could Prevent Many Suicides
While red-flag gun laws might prevent some mass shootings, they would spare many more lives from suicide. Their impact would be greatly magnified if mental health providers were allowed to…