Sep 26, 2018

WHO warns renewed violence in Congo endangers Ebola efforts

Medical workers lead a young girl with suspected Ebola into a treatment center in Beni on Aug. 12. Photo: John Wessels/AFP/Getty Images

The escalation of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo jeopardizes the recent gains made in halting the ongoing Ebola outbreak and could trigger a surge in new infections if health care workers and civilians are not protected, World Health Organization officials warned Wednesday.

The perfect storm: Peter Salama, WHO's head of emergency response, said Tuesday they were "extremely concerned" about recent violence that in some areas endangered health officials and halting the Ebola prevention and treatment regimes.

"A perfect storm of active conflict, limiting our ability to access civilians, distress by segments of the community, already traumatized by decades of conflict."
— Peter Salama

What's happening now: While violence has been an ongoing issue with certain areas in DRC, there was a recent surge in violence when an attack Saturday in Beni killed at least 21 people and elevated tensions between different sectors there.

  • Per Al Jazeera, the Congolese army blames the Allied Democratic Forces, one of the notorious rebel militias trying to gain control of DRC's mineral resources, amongst other things.

Health concerns: As Salama tweeted below, one of the concerns is that public health officials have not been able to reach out to the "contacts" of people known to be infected to ensure they had not been infected themselves. This could mean the infection could spread rapidly without them knowing.

  • Tracking contacts is an important method of controlling the spread of Ebola and also provides an indication of the outbreak status, as it's considered a good sign once all new infections can be traced directly to a known infected patient.

Go deeper: Violence in Congo imperils efforts to combat Ebola outbreak (The Washington Post)

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Science

Live updates: SpaceX attempts to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day...

In photos: We've seen images like the protests in Minneapolis before

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/MPI/Getty Images

The photos of protests around the country following the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police are hauntingly familiar. We’ve seen them many times before, going back decades.

Why it matters: "What is also unmistakable in the bitter protests in Minneapolis and around the country is the sense that the state is either complicit or incapable of effecting substantive change," Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton University writes in the New York Times. The images that follow make all too clear how little has changed since the modern Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s.

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,968,693— Total deaths: 365,796 — Total recoveries — 2,520,587Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,749,846 — Total deaths: 102,900 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: The future of mobility in the post-pandemic worldGeorge Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business.
  4. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  7. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.