Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
During the current outbreak, NIH and the DRC National Institute of Biomedical Research led a consortium coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to conduct an Ebola therapeutics trial comparing a previously tested therapeutics candidate, ZMapp, to three other candidates. Through this clinical research response, two experimental treatment products known as monoclonal antibody 114 (mAb114) and Regeneron Ebola therapeutic (REGN-EB3), were found to reduce the risk of death from Ebola.15
Healthcare-associated transmission of Ebola and healthcare worker infection is also a significant factor in the DRC outbreak. In 2019, CDC collaborated with the WHO and the DRC Ministry of Health to develop and initiate a new infection prevention and control (IPC) training program for a cadre of “IPC supervisors” responsible for training healthcare workers to recognize and prioritize risk at a healthcare facility and determining how to effectively address the IPC gaps that they identify. CDC’s IPC protocols and trainings have reached 1,300 healthcare facilities in the DRC. After the identification of a cluster of Ebola cases in Uganda in 2019, CDC successfully instituted further training to cover 117 additional healthcare facilities in Uganda. No additional cases were reported in Uganda beyond the initial cluster of cases, preventing further spread of the outbreak.
To safeguard people in America and around the globe from Ebola,HHS agencies have made significant progress in diagnostics,treatment, and prevention of Ebola:
Eradication of plum pox required collecting and testing plant samples, removing diseased and suspect trees, using plum pox virus-tolerant plants, and temporarily banning the planting of susceptible stone fruit varieties. By the end of 2018, APHIS and its collaborators had completed three consecutive years of stone fruit field surveys in eastern New York—the last remaining quarantined area in the United States.
After two decades of work, APHIS announced in October 2019 that plum pox had officially been eradicated from our nation. To ensure that we remain free of the disease, APHIS has put in place safeguards, including ongoing monitoring for the disease in stone fruit-producing states, science-based import regulations to prevent the disease’s reentry via nursery stock and propagative material, and continued cooperation with Canada to help prevent plum pox virus incursions from that country. APHIS’s past and continued work to identify and quickly respond to any incursion of disease helps to safeguard a $6 billion industry.
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