Sep 14, 2019

Ebola death toll in the DRC nears 2,000

A sign on the border to Rwanda indicates protective measures against the Ebola virus disease, in the Goma city of the DRC. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images

At least 1,974 people have died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from an Ebola virus outbreak that has lasted just over 1 year, according to an update on Friday from the DRC Ministry of Health.

What's new: There are 111 probable deaths in addition to those that have been confirmed, per the DRC Ministry of Health. The World Health Organization (WHO) puts the death toll at 2,074 in its latest update. The DRC's former Minister of Health Oly Ilunga was taken into custody again on Saturday to ensure that he does not avoid legal proceedings for his misdemeanor offenses involving mishandling Ebola funds, the AP reports.

  • Ilunga was first arrested less than a month ago for reported misdemeanor offenses.

The big picture: The DRC Ministry of Health reports a total of 3,002 confirmed Ebola cases as of Friday, with 942 people cured. WHO's latest report said that 56% of people afflicted with confirmed and probable Ebola cases were women.

Go deeper: One year on and no end in sight for deadly Ebola outbreak

Go deeper

Congo approves second Ebola vaccine to fight the deadly virus

Preparing an Ebola vaccination in Goma in August. Photo: Augustin Wamenya/AFP/Getty Images

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has decided to allow a second Ebola vaccine to be distributed to certain areas of its country — a move that the World Health Organization praised as a key tool to halting further expansion of the deadly virus.

Why it matters: The DRC initially resisted some of the recommendations from the WHO, including one to approve testing another experimental vaccine. But DRC's new leader of the Ebola response in the Ministry of Health is trying new activities to halt the outbreak, which as of Sept. 19 killed about 2,111 people and infected roughly 3,157 people (in both probable and confirmed infections).

Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019

U.S. likely to retain measles elimination status — but barely

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York says it has reached a "milestone" in halting the measles outbreak that started in October 2018, and U.S. public health officials now believe the country has retained its measles elimination status — just barely meeting the year deadline, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Yes, but: Recent cases reported from returning international travelers demonstrate the danger of new outbreaks when there are still pockets of communities with low vaccination rates. Despite measles being mostly preventable, the combination of the anti-vaccination movement and vaccine hesitancy places several communities at risk.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019

NY officials: Major measles outbreak is over as countdown continues

Waiting for patients at the Rockland County Health Department in April. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Health officials from Rockland County — the New York community that's been a focal point in the recent battle over measles due to its low vaccination rate — announced Wednesday that the outbreak there is over.

Why it matters: The latest measles outbreak in America is the largest since 1992, and public health officials have been concerned the U.S. could lose the "measles elimination status" it earned in 2000. But the U.S. may "scrape through just under the wire" and retain its status as long as no new cases are reported in New York state in September, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells Axios.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019