Ebola in the DRC: When One of Us Is at Risk, All Are at Risk
Posted 20 May 2019
Arlington, Va. (May 20, 2019) — The Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a crisis of international magnitude in the making. At ASTMH, we see this outbreak—the second largest and second deadliest in history—as being on the brink of potential disaster, and yet it is nearly absent from day-to-day TV news. Without the necessary public and political will, this situation will move beyond disaster. ASTMH is alarmed at the lack of attention and funding this outbreak has received.
In our globally connected world, infectious diseases are just a plane ride away. Disease knows no borders, as earlier outbreaks of Ebola, Zika and H1N1 have demonstrated. When one of us is at risk, we all are at risk. We must act quickly, for the safety and well-being of the people of the DRC, and for our own.
Since the last Ebola crisis, experts around the world have worked tirelessly and diligently to identify a vaccine and develop several new drugs. An experimental Ebola vaccine currently in use across the DRC is showing signs of success and a second is to be announced soon.
What we need now is the full attention of governments from around the world, including the United States, to bring these solutions to the people who need it. The U.S. government has wisely developed a Global Health Security Agenda. It needs strong and sustained investment.
ASTMH is eager to work with decision-makers, government leaders, researchers, NGOs and community health workers in a worldwide collaborative program to end the outbreak. As the leading tropical infectious disease experts, we know what is at stake here. We believe it is past time to work together to bring this terrible outbreak to an end.