The Ebola virus has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has spread to a major city for the first time in the country's long history of Ebola outbreaks. At least 25 people have died so far in the rural area where this outbreak began, and there's one confirmed case and two suspected cases of Ebola in the city of Mbandaka, which has a population of over a million people.
Officials have responded quickly and are planning to deploy the new rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine, but I can't help remembering the global panic that occurred during the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic when over 11,000 people died and infections were confirmed in the United States, Spain, and Scotland.
Will a quicker response and an effective vaccine quell the outbreak this time, or are we looking at another massive Ebola epidemic, with infections possibly spreading to other countries?
📷 An Ebola checkpoint during the 2014-2016 epidemic. From the CDC's Public Health Image Library.