The New Ebola Outbreak Could Take ‘Three, Maybe Four’ Months to Control

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The DRC’s top virologist says the response has been quick, but it started late because of delays in reporting suspected cases.

  • Ed Yong
  • The Atlantic

The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently fighting its ninth Ebola outbreak—and Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum is as calm as ever.

Warm, round-faced, and preternaturally chill, Muyembe was the first scientist to encounter Ebola during the first-ever outbreak in 1976, and he has been involved in studying and fighting the disease ever since.

Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), Jean-Jacques Muyembe from Democratic Republic of Congo poses on May 28, 2015 in Paris. Dr Muyembe received the 2015 Christophe Merieux Prize for his search on Ebola. AFP PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE (Photo credit should read MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)

Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), Jean-Jacques Muyembe from Democratic Republic of Congo poses on May 28, 2015 in Paris. Dr Muyembe received the 2015 Christophe Merieux Prize for his search on Ebola. AFP PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE (Photo credit should read MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)

“We have a long-standing experience,” he told me on Friday. “I think we will need three months to control [this new] outbreak. Maybe four.”

There are currently 32 suspected cases, dating back to April 4; of those cases, 18 have died.

This suspected-case count has risen by 11 since the…

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