The U.S. Helped Defeat Ebola in 2014. Now, We ’re Watching a Crisis Become a Catastrophe

Imagine a firefighter battling a blaze while the sprinkler system emits gasoline. This is the current state of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So far, over 1,600 people have died from the virus and thousands more have been infected. While this outbreak is not yet at the scale of the last Ebola crisis that claimed more than 11,000 lives, it has the potential to be even deadlier. With each passing day, the virus keeps spreading. This week, the first case of Ebola was discovered in Goma, a transportation hub on the border of Rwanda. In order to keep pace with the virus, the United States and the international community must start treating this outbreak like the crisis it is. In 2014, I sat on the National Security Council and helped lead the United States’ Ebola response. At the time, I thought the Ebola outbreak was the most terrifying public health emergency that I would ever witness in my lifetime. It turns out that I was wrong. The challenges of this outbreak are unprecedented: poor infrastructure, distrust in health workers and lack of access to basic medical care. A big enough barrier on their own, together they make containing this outbreak in the DRC harder and more complex than the last outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. This instability did not come about overnight. The DRC is rich in resources but has been historically plagued by poor governance and violent conflict. For decades, DRC has failed to make adequate inv...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized ebola Source Type: news

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Among the first American workers to raise the alarm about a potential COVID-19 pandemic were flight attendants. In late January, as the virus spread outside the Chinese province of Hubei, airline crews staffing international flights to Asia began expressing concerns, asking for disinfection supplies and permission to self-quarantine if they thought they had been exposed. “We were begging to be allowed to wear masks,” one flight attendant for a major U.S. airline tells TIME. Two months later, as flight crews remain on the front lines of the fight against the virus, they fear airlines’ failure to heed their...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news
CONCLUSION: Amid the range of psychosocial responses seen in past infectious disease outbreaks, practical considerations for the current COVID-19 pandemic need to focus on the individual in the context of the larger social environment, with an emphasis on raising awareness of the range of possible psychosocial responses, access to psychological help, self- care, empowering self-support groups and sustained engagement with updated, reliable information about the outbreak. PMID: 32241071 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Singapore Medical Journal - Category: General Medicine Authors: Tags: Singapore Med J Source Type: research
Last year, when I visited the town of Beni, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), people did not shake hands. Bottles of disinfectant and buckets of chlorinated water were at the entrance of every business. Misinformation spread across social networks and on news-sites, and treatment centers in the northeastern province of North Kivu were being attacked by armed militias. At the time, Beni was one of the centers of a devastating Ebola outbreak, the second most deadly in world history. According to the World Health Organization, almost 3,500 people were sickened by the virus, and more than 2,000 died, a case fatali...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news
Credit: UNBy Ifeanyi Nsofor and Adaeze OrehABUJA, Mar 30 2020 (IPS) As COVID-19 surges globally and leaves fear and panic in its wake, global efforts are underway to find a cure. Yet, the same level of response is lacking for several other infectious diseases that kill millions annually. These kinds of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a broad group of communicable diseases which affect more than two billion people and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year. Lassa Fever is an example and is endemic in Nigeria and other West African countries such as Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, ...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Global Headlines Health TerraViva United Nations Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Source Type: news
At midnight on Thursday March 26, all of South Africa went into lockdown. For the next 21 days, no one is to leave their homes unless they are going to the grocery store, the pharmacy or to seek medical help. No dog walking, no jogging, no food delivery services. Only essential workers are exempt, and that list is small. When President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement on March 23, a week after shutting the nation’s schools, there were only 402 confirmed COVID-19 cases. But it was essential, he said, to “flatten the curve” before widespread outbreaks overwhelmed the country’s fragile medical sys...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 feature Londontime Source Type: news
A new research paper examining the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in Africa could hold crucial insights for policymakers grappling with the novel coronavirus pandemic — namely, the importance of public engagement and trust during health crises.Thestudy (PDF), co-authored by Darin Christensen, assistant professor of public policy in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, shows that where people lack confidence in their health providers, they are less likely to seek testing and treatment when they feel sick. This stymies efforts to identify, treat and isolate infected patients to limit further contagion.By the end of the Eb...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news
By Polly Dunford, President and Chief Executive OfficerMarch 26, 2020Today, asCOVID-19 continues to invade our thoughts and lives, my mind is on frontline health workers.They don’t have the option to work from home, as many of us are doing today. They’re on the front lines as I write this—in hospitals, clinics, and triage centers around the world—putting themselves at risk to stop this pandemic. Now, more than ever,health workers need our support.Last week, as I began my new job as president&CEO at IntraHealth International, I saw that our country and global teams had mobilized immediately to ...
Source: IntraHealth International - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: COVID-19 Digital Health Health Workers Source Type: news
What helps to contain an epidemic? A study of the Ebola crisis suggests that patients' trust in health workers can encourage patients to report illnesses and receive treatment.
Source: NPR Health and Science - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Source Type: news
The recent WHO decision to declare the novel coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), while both appropriate and hardly surprising, offers the opportunity to reflect on the previous PHEIC which was declared, namely the Ebola epidemic in Kivu region, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). And you should really say the ongoing Ebola epidemic, as during the time since the declaration in July 2019 through to the present day (March 2020), a total of 3,453 cases have been reported [1]. The nCoV-2019 outbreak is still ballooning; as of today, over 400,000 confirmed cases worldwide with no ...
Source: GIDEON blog - Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Tags: Ebooks Epidemiology Outbreaks Source Type: blogs
By Ifeanyi NsoforABUJA, Mar 20 2020 (IPS) Coronavirus is now a pandemic and the World Health Organization considers Europe as its new epicenter. Italy, Spain and France are on lockdown and several nations are banning travelers from countries where cases are on the rise. But it’s a problem beyond Europe too, and governments in 61 countries have closed schools to slow the spread of the virus. In the U.S., President Trump recently declared a national emergency after the virus had spread to nearly every U.S. state, and he urged state governments to set up emergency operation c...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Africa Headlines Health Coronavirus Source Type: news
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