Sep 6, 2018

Congo's Ebola outbreak spreads to new city

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Data: Ministry of Health DRC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced yesterday the deadly Ebola virus has spread to a new city, Butembo, a city with almost one million people that acts as a trading hub with Uganda and other countries.

Why it matters: In addition to treating patients, public health officials also have to manage fear and distrust in some communities. DRC's Ministry of Health said this particular case was caused by a man who had been in contact with an infected person in Beni but "had refused to cooperate with the health authorities and who had fled in Butembo after falling ill."

WHO's Peter Salama tweeted Wednesday "Good news is case detected quickly, response already in place & expanding. Bad new is increases risk of further spread, and having Ebola in an urban centre makes ending the outbreak much harder."

The context: This is not the first time the DRC's ministry has reported challenges with some communities. On Wednesday, the ministry partly blamed community resistance for the 70% concentration of confirmed cases in the Ndindi neighborhood of Beni, tweeting:

"Some families have long hidden the sick, refused to allow care providers to bring the sick Ebola Treatment Center (ETC), and refused to be vaccinated. Several violent incidents against medical personnel and care facilities were also reported."

Go deeper: Read the Huffington Post's No One Should Be Sleeping Well Tonight

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Measles-related death toll tops 6,000 in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Deaths from measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo surpassed 6,000, with children over the age of 5 most vulnerable to the infectious disease, new data from the World Health Organization showed Tuesday.

Why it matters: About 310,000 suspected measles cases, one-fourth of which are in kids over age 5, have been reported since the beginning of 2019. Vaccinations for children have made headway in some parts of the country, but public health officials are still trying to keep the disease at bay.

Go deeper: DRC health leader discusses what's being done to fight Ebola

China virus kills one and spreads to Thailand, but U.S. threat remains minimal

Security guards in front of the closed wholesale seafood market in Wuhan, where a man who recently died from the coronavirus had purchased goods. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images

A mysterious virus discovered in Wuhan, China, is believed to have played a role in the death of a patient, while another case has been reported by a person who traveled from Wuhan to Thailand, the World Health Organization confirmed Monday.

The latest: Chinese officials said Sunday that one out of 41 confirmed patients has died, but cautioned that they had underlying health issues. A public health official said the U.S. is not overly concerned the virus might spread here.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020

Medicare for All's missing mental health discussion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America's mental health care system is in dire need of an overhaul, but the any real specifics are largely missing from the 2020 debate about health care.

Why it matters: Suicide and drug overdose rates continue to rise, and the U.S. faces a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access to treatment.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020