, “currently the outbreak continues at the same pace, so we don’t see evidence of slowing,” according to Henry Walke, MD, director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections and Incident Manager, 2018 CDC Ebola Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He added that new cases of Ebola have been seen in Goma, which is outside the initial outbreak area. Goma is the largest city in the eastern part of the DRC and a major trading port.
Dr. Walke made his remarks in a telephone media briefing Aug. 1 by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services outlining the current state of the U.S. response to the outbreak.
He described the efforts of the CDC to provide support to the DRC both from Atlanta and in the field. These efforts included support for vaccination activities in DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces for the population and for at-risk health-care workers in the DRC and neighboring countries. In addition, the United States is involved in the testing of experimental therapeutics and vaccines in the DRC in an effort to aid in this and future outbreaks.
“There are no cases of Ebola in the United States,” said Dr. Walke, and the CDC believes the risk to the United States from the outbreak is low. He cited the limited number of travelers from DRC. “There [are] about 16,000 from the DRC to the U.S. on an annual basis, and only about 100 from Goma itself. There aren’t direct flights and we have at the Goma airport both entry and exit screening.”
According to a, this Ebola outbreak is the second deadliest on record and has killed 1,750 people out of around 2,518 confirmed cases as of July 23.
Efforts to control the epidemic are severely hampered by civil unrest in the area, public mistrust of the government and health care workers, and a comparative lack of international aid compared to previous Ebola outbreaks.