Online, training resources available to help health professionals prepare

Between April 4thand May 15th, 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 44 Ebola virus disease cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): 21 suspected, 20 probable, and 3 confirmed, resulting in 19 deaths. A further 362 at-risk people are being monitored. Fifty WHO public health experts have been deployed to assist the DRC’s Ministry of Health.

The cases began in Bikoro, but now cross the Bikoro, Iboko, and Mbandaka health zones. And on May 17one new case of Ebola was confirmed in Wangata, a city of nearly 1.2 million people in the northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The location of the outbreak along the Congo River and the logistical difficulties of transporting responders and supplies to the region have increased concern over the potential spread of this outbreak.

The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic highlighted the need for rapid response and dissemination of information during an outbreak. The National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) is prepared.

NETEC’s mission is to increase the capability of United States public health and health care systems to safely and effectively manage individuals with suspected and confirmed special pathogens. And NETEC’s infrastructure expands our nation’s capacity for subject matter experts to share knowledge, educate and train, and respond to requests for technical assistance.

The newly deployed NETEC Resource Repository collates tools and resources available for healthcare and public health professionals to better prepare their hospitals and communities. The Repository contains resources on all special pathogens for any facility type or stakeholder.

Specific for the current situation, NETEC has collected some essential Ebola-related resources to start with, including:

  • How to Identify, Isolate and Inform if a person under investigation (PUI) presents to a facility
  • Clinical Considerations for the clinical care of patients with Ebola virus disease
  • Waste Management Considerations
  • Personal Protective Equipment principles
  • EMS resources for safe transport of suspected or confirmed patients

Additionally, healthcare and public health professionals can register to attend an upcoming workshop or submit a question to one of NETEC’s many experts via the web portal or by emailing

With a swift response underway, hopefully this outbreak will be controlled quickly. However it serves as a reminder to remain prepared and informed, and NETEC is equipped to respond.