Aug 7, 2018

Genetic tests confirm new Ebola outbreak in the Congo

A lab technician works in the P3, the Pasteur Institute's laboratory dedicated to the Ebola virus, in Bangui on May 31, 2018. Photo: FLORENT VERGNES/AFP/Getty Images.

Genetic sequencing has confirmed that the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in North Kivu, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is distinct from an earlier outbreak in the same country — the earlier outbreak was declared over in late July.

Why it matters: Public health officials are racing to contain the new outbreak in a challenging operational environment near the borders with Rwanda and Uganda, which is home to more than a million displaced people. This region is home to many rebel groups and hosts the largest U.N. peacekeeping contingent in the world.

Details: According to a tweet from Peter Salama, the World Health Organization's deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, health workers plan to begin vaccinating people in affected areas of North Kivu starting on Wednesday.

Doctors used the experimental vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, to treat those exposed to the virus during the last outbreak in the Congo.

The current outbreak's death toll has climbed.

The WHO has warned that security issues could present a significant impediment to addressing the outbreak.

  • "The prolonged humanitarian crisis and deterioration of the security situation is expected to hinder response to this outbreak," the WHO said.

What's next: Although Salama did not specify how the vaccine would be used, during the last outbreak the agency worked with other organizations to conduct a ring vaccination program. This involves vaccinating people who have come into direct contact with individuals confirmed to have Ebola — as well as the contacts of those contacts. Each ring might include about 150 people.

  • In addition, the WHO gave the vaccine to health care works to protect them while treating Ebola patients.

The vaccine is considered experimental because the largest testing occurred in Guinea at the end of the 2015 outbreak, and was not conducted in a way that would satisfy regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeper: Experimental vaccine used to fight Congo's Ebola outbreak

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There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.