Ebola virus disease

Lack of security is "significant impediment" to U.S. help on Ebola

Health workers are seen inside the red zone at a newly build MSF (Doctors Without Borders) supported ebola treatment centre in November in Bunia, DRC.
Doctors Without Borders health workers inside the DRC's red zone at a newly built Ebola treatment center in Bunia, DRC. Photo: John Wessels/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. is facing a "significant impediment" to its overall plan to help the Democratic Republic of the Congo bring its deadly Ebola outbreak to an end, as inadequate security continues to plague the region near Beni, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Why it matters: The DRC is currently dealing with its worst-ever outbreak of Ebola, and the epicenter is in an area where there's been civil unrest for decades. There's also concern the outbreak could last for years, due to a deadly combination of the virus, pockets of community distrust of health and government workers, and periodic violent incidents that keep forcing the need for quarantines, vaccinations and treatment regimes.

Ebola treatment trials may begin, as worries grow over Congo outbreak

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

U.S. health officials may soon start trials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to test the efficacy of different Ebola treatments if they get the necessary approvals, Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.

Why it matters: The combination of violence against health care workers and the deadly virus caused the head of the Centers for Disease Control to issue a warning earlier this week that Ebola could become "endemic" to Congo. The only potential bright spot to a such a devastating outbreak would be testing experimental treatments to help indicate which ones actually work best, Fauci says.

More stories loading.