Is your business prepared for the next global health crisis?
Read our monthly round-up of the current epidemics and outbreaks of infectious diseases causing concern to business travellers across the world, written by Dr Adrian Hyzler, Chief Medical Officer at Healix International.
Dr Adrian Hyzler
Chief Medical Officer
Since the ongoing Ebola outbreak began in August 2018 in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), more than 2,800 people have become infected with 1,866 confirmed deaths. The overall ‘case fatality ratio’ (proportion of cases which prove fatal) is 67%. This outbreak is second in size only to the West African outbreak in 2013-16 that killed more than 11,300 people.
The outbreak continues with similar transmission intensity as has been seen in recent weeks, with an average of 86 new confirmed cases per week. The majority of recent cases are from the districts of Beni and Mandima.
The security situation remains of high concern with an increase in the presence of armed groups and a resurgence of intimidation and violent attacks. Some Ebola virus disease (EVD) operations in and around Beni have had to be temporarily suspended until the situation can be brought under control. The fear that is caused by a combination of EVD and the local militia groups continues to cause high rates of population movement to other parts of the DRC and across poorly patrolled borders with neighbouring countries, thus increasing the risk of geographical spread.
The risk of transmission across international borders remains high. On 17th July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) after the first cases arrived in Goma, the capital of North Kivu with a population of over two million inhabitants.
So, what needs to be done to get this outbreak under control?
Also featured in the August World Health Report:
- Lead poisoning in Paris: Environmental consequences of the Notre-Dame cathedral blaze
- Lyme disease in the UK and US: Tick-borne disease on the rise
- Hepatitis A in Florida, US: Public health emergency declared as authorities struggle to contain the spread
- West Nile virus in the US: Rates soar across the country
- Malaria in South East Asia: Worrying spread of drug-resistant malaria with hotspots in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam
Infectious Disease and Business Continuity for your Organisation
When a serious infectious disease strikes, you need to act fast to isolate the risk and close down the means of it spreading throughout your organisation. Are you prepared? Healix can offer a free assessment of your current plans by a highly qualified specialist in pandemic planning. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.