DR Congo is currently facing its tenth outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) since the virus was discovered in 1976. As of March 3, 2019, there were 897 confirmed cases, with 563 deaths (including confirmed and probable deaths. Although potentially effective ring vaccination trials have been integrated into the response against EVD, the risk of further propagation of the outbreak remains high. The virus has spread to densely populated urban areas, and parts of the country where optimal surveillance and health-care delivery are dangerous and sometimes interrupted due to the presence of armed groups.
This letter in the Lancet argues that although Lamontagne and colleagues’ guidelines stress the importance of supportive and psychosocial care to alleviate the burden of suffering and severe distress associated with EVD, these guidelines do not acknowledge the value of this care for all patients regardless of outcome, even death. This is consistent with other published recommendations for EVD patient management.
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