The following was sent to me via a person who’s got decades of professional experience working with the American Red Cross and gets regular updates on the evolving (or devolving) situation in a variety of areas from qualified persons. While it may have left the headlines for the time being, keep in mind a bio attack via a human carrier could easily be pulled off through a non-existent border and an overwhelmed response system. 

Links worth a read-

https://www.who.int/csr/don/16-may-2019-ebola-drc/en

https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2019/01/adf-jihadist-group-drc

https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Doctors-go-undercover-to-fight-Ebola-in-violent-13852225.php

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/15/terrifying-ebola-epidemic-out-of-control-in-drc-say-experts

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/07-05-2019-who-adapts-ebola-vaccination-strategy-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-to-account-for-insecurity-and-community-feedback

Bottom line:

  • The known efficacious vaccine supply is running out, and WHO is stretching the supply by reducing the dose;
  • WHO is now planning to use other untested vaccines;
  • One or more Islamist organizations previously driven out of Uganda are actively attacking Ebola response activities in Eastern Congo, and are having a notable effect, disrupting the response effort;
  • This clade of the Ebola filovirus is infectious in individuals not showing any prompt signs of infection. IOW, they test positive without fever;
  • All WHO and CDC screening protocol assumes infected and infectious persons show a fever Most of the new cases recorded in the last month are either already dead or near death, with no known links to prior cases;
  • CDC has stationed 19 personnel in population centers near the Eastern Congo;
  • WHO continues to recommend against travel restrictions in or out of the Congo;
  • The known geographic location of new cases in Eastern Congo continues to expand.

Assessment:

  • Ebola in the DRC is now out of control, and will cross the border into Uganda in Q3-Q4 2019, if it has not already done so, and possibly to Rwanda and/or South Sudan. The international response is implicitly already acknowledging this.
  • It is likely that cases will expand outside the DRC in East Africa through late 2019 into 2020, and possible that locations outside East Africa but with strong trade links to this area may also see cases.
  • As this outbreak spreads, it is also possible that persons who are exposed and have the means to travel will seek refuge in first-world countries, as was the case with the West African outbreak in 2014-2016.
  • Finally, it is possible that Islamist organizations will use this outbreak as a source of BW pathogens to be directed against the West.

Recommendations:

  1. The US should institute travel restrictions affecting all persons who have traveled from Congo, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda within the last 21 days, requiring a quarantine of all such individuals in secured locations, for a minimum of 21 days, with testing to ensure that asymptomatic infections are identified. Although presently legal, this is not likely, given the present political climate.
  2. Absent such a quarantine, it is possible that persons traveling into the US may carry Ebola in with them, and given the characteristics of this clade of the Ebola filovirus, transmit it to other persons who have not traveled outside the US. “Patient Zero” in these united States may not have any of the markers presently used as screening tools, and may not be identified as Ebola patients until the disease has advanced to the terminal stages, as was the case in Texas several years ago.

The implications of the above are obvious.

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