Is DRC Outbreak a Global Health Emergency?

As the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reached a record-setting 18 cases in a single day, the WHO is reconsidering whether to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, CIDRAP reports.

An “emergency committee” of outside experts will meet Friday to make the call; the group stopped short of declaring a global health emergency in October, STAT’s Helen Branswell reports.

As the epidemic worsens, it’s time to rethink containment strategies. “Doing the same thing over and over again does not appear to be working,” says the University of Minnesota’s Michael Osterholm.

The current tally stands at 1,186 cases and 751 deaths—with spikes in violence consistently coinciding with more cases.

Without the experimental vaccine, which has been administered almost 100,000 times, things would be much worse—but the “ring vaccination” approach has been hindered in unsafe areas, Branswell writes.

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