Civil unrest and Ebola control

Researchers explore how conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo influenced public health responses to Ebola. Violence targeting healthcare workers and treatment centers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has affected Ebola treatment and prevention efforts, but the degree to which civil unrest has obstructed public health responses to Ebola in the DRC is unclear. To determine how conflict affected the Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri between April 30, 2018 and June 23, 2019, Burton H. Singer and colleagues constructed a timeline of conflict events throughout the course of the Ebola epidemic, an ethnographic appraisal of the local conditions that preceded and followed conflict events, and a model of Ebola transmission and control using data from the World Health Organization. The time from symptom onset to case isolation varied, as did population-level effectiveness of vaccination, due to preceding unrest and subsequent impacts of conflict events. Surges of Ebola incidence coincided with intensified conflict. Moreover, during the first week of vaccine administration, prior to any disruptive events, vaccination effectiveness was 52%; following disruptive conflict, vaccination effectiveness dropped to a minimum of 4.8% over the course of the epidemic. The results suggest that conflict events repeatedly reversed a declining phase of the Ebola epidemic in the DRC, according to the authors.

Article #19-13980: “The exacerbation of Ebola outbreaks by conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” by Chad R. Wells.

MEDIA CONTACT: Burton H. Singer, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; tel: 609-851-8022, 912-638-6856; email: <

bhsinger@epi.ufl.edu

>; Alison Galvani, Yale University, New Haven, CT; tel: 203-785-2642, 203-974-3106; email: <

alison.galvani@yale.edu

>; Chad Wells: Yale University, New Haven, CT; tel: 519-823-9433; email:

chad.richard.wells@gmail.com

; Abihshek Pandey, Yale University, New Haven, CT, tel: 203-737-7682, 846-633-9240; email:

abhishek.pandey@yale.edu

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This part of information is sourced from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-10/potn-cua101619.php

Burton H. Singer
609-851-8022
bhsinger@epi.ufl.edu

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