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Ebola reappears in DR Congo, WHO scrambles to respond

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Ebola reappears in DR Congo, WHO scrambles to respond

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65E4A476-CE6B-4391-8AF0-560862083E18
Photo: AP

An experimental vaccine is expected to arrive in the Democratic Republic of Congo today amid an outbreak in the northwest region of Equateur.

The World Health Organisation has counted 35 new cases and 18 deaths since May 8. While it is too early to determine the extent of this Ebola outbreak, the alarming fatality rate has heaped pressure on health officials to act quickly in order to prevent the disease spreading beyond its current 60-kilometre radius.

Another widespread Ebola outbreak would be extremely perilous given the US retreat as a world leader in combatting infectious diseases. As it stands, $1 billion of Congress’ budget put aside to fight the 2015 Ebola outbreak is unlikely to be maintained after 2019 and President Donald Trump’s most recent budget proposal has indicated funding reductions for foreign aid. In the event of an intensified outbreak, expect the international health community to rally for a global health fund necessary to respond to emergency, especially in the absence of sufficient US support.

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