In DepthInfectious Diseases

New Ebola outbreak rings alarm bells early

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Science  26 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6340, pp. 788-789
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6340.788

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An outbreak of Ebola in a remote region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has led to a swift and robust response from the country and the international community. In the wake of the devastating West African Ebola that spiraled out of control in 2014, there’s acute awareness that virus can cause mayhem if not contained early. This time, there’s also the possibility of using an unlicensed but promising vaccine that had great success in 2015 in a trial in Guinea. But given the confusing details of the DRC outbreak—the first case apparently fell ill 21 April and he’s only one of two confirmed cases to date—the government has yet to request the vaccine. And in collaboration with international partners, the government is closely following several dozen suspect cases and more than 350 of their contacts to decide how best to stop spread.

  • * With reporting by Gretchen Vogel.