Ebola Emergency Reconsidered (Again)

A WHO emergency committee is meeting this morning to consider for a fourth time whether to declare the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo a public health emergency of international concern, CIDRAP reports.

A decision is expected any moment.
 
The meeting follows yesterday’s death of a pastor in the city of Goma; he was the first documented Ebola case in the large city—a dreaded milestone in the outbreak.
 
Adding to the pressure to declare an emergency: WHO reported this morning that a woman infected with Ebola had visited Uganda on July 11 before returning to DRC and dying, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, a second experimental Ebola vaccine is a no-go in the DRC, says health minister Oly Ilunga, clashing with members of a vaccine consortium who’ve asked him to reconsider, Helen Branswell reports in STAT.
 
An aggressive push to try out Johnson & Johnson’s 2-dose version to create a “firewall” around the current outbreak zone was shot down by Ilunga. Over a million doses are available, but he raised concerns about the logistics of a second vaccine—and whether it could stoke further mistrust.

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