Still not ready for Ebola

08 June 2018  Vol 360, Issue 6393

Still not ready for Ebola
By Thomas R. Frieden
Science08 Jun 2018 : 1049
Ebola is back. The disease that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa just a few years ago has returned, striking the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Last week, intervention with a new vaccine was initiated to help contain the outbreak, adding another tool to a response that is exponentially better than it was 4 years ago. But we are not out of the woods. No matter how long this Ebola outbreak continues, the world faces critical tests in its battle against deadly pathogens. Unlike 2014, when delayed recognition of Ebola led to undetected disease spread, the DRC promptly admitted it had an outbreak and called for assistance. The World Health Organization (WHO) did not try to minimize the problem. Rapid response units from within the DRC and around the world deployed immediately. And, fortunately, the DRC has well-trained epidemiologists as well as laboratory capacity to test for the virus.