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Ebola outbreak in DRC ‘second worst in history’
The Ministry of Health recently announced that the first ever multi-drug Ebola trial will begin in DRC.
Country reports 440 cases since outbreak began

An Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the second largest in history, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Peter Salama, WHO’s deputy director-general, said on Twitter last week: ‘The #Ebola outbreak in #DRC is now second largest historically. A sad toll, with too many families losing loved ones.

‘@WHO and partners will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with @MinSanteRDC to do whatever it takes to bring the outbreak to an end.’

As of 1 December, there had been a total of 440 Ebola cases in DRC, with 392 confirmed and 48 probable. So far, 255 people have died since the outbreak was declared around five months ago.

WHO said responding to the outbreak continues to be a challenge, but the Ministry of Health, WHO and partners are focusing their activities in areas where transmission continues - in Butembo, Katwa, Beni and Kalunguta.

Community engagement remains difficult in Katwa, despite significant progress. Improvements are needed to address the high proportion of cases that were not previously registered as contacts and therefore not followed up by surveillance teams.

Insecurity in the eastern part of the country has also posed a challenge in responding to the Ebola threat. In September, health workers were forced to halt vaccinations and tracing people who had been in contact with suspected Ebola patients, owing to a deadly rebel attack.

In a recent statement, WHO said the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in DRC, as well as to other countries, remains very high.

The Ministry of Health recently announced that the first ever multi-drug Ebola trial will begin in DRC, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs.

“While our focus remains on bringing this outbreak to an end, the launch of the randomized control trial in DRC is an important step towards finally finding an Ebola treatment that will save lives,” said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”