This is an electron microscopic image of the 1976 isolate of Ebola virus. The internal structures of the filamentous particle are visible, including the nucleocapsid and other structural viral proteins, and the outer viral envelope is covered with surface projections. The characteristic “6-shape” of the virus is evident. Courtesy of CDC/Dr. Frederick Murphy
As the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues, the number of Ebola cases has surpassed 3,000 and nearly 2,000 deaths. Cases have recently been reported in previously unaffected areas in DRC and are now in 29 health zones and in a new province, South Kivu, which increases the risk of disease spread both locally within DRC and to neighboring countries. As of August 28, the DRC Ministry of Health has reported 3,004 cases and 2,006 deaths.
“Far too many lives have been lost in this Ebola outbreak. The DRC, U.S. government, and international partners are working hard to overcome the significant challenges to stopping the spread of this disease in DRC,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert R. Redfield, MD. “CDC is prepared for a long-term public health response in DRC and its neighboring countries, and we agree with our World Health Organization colleagues about the need for a change in the response to bring this outbreak to an end.”
The CDC has recently doubled the number of outbreak response experts in DRC and will have 30 responders on the ground by September 1 to work on case investigation, contact tracing, disease tracking, safe burials, community engagement and risk communication, laboratory testing, and border health. CDC staff have conducted more than 360 deployments.
The CDC’s Emergency Operations Center continues to provide 24/7 technical assistance to the ministries of health of DRC and neighboring countries, in collaboration with international partners, to ensure the response is robust, well-coordinated, and focused on bringing the outbreak to an end.