19 dead in Ebola outbreak in DRC

18 May, 2018, 15:45 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • DS    
   TREATMENT Some 4,000 doses of the treatment have arrived in the capital Kinshasa

Lab tests have only confirmed two cases of Ebola in the central African country, but the suspected cases are in the dozens.

"Congo has agreed to allow the World Health Organization to use an experimental Ebola vaccine to combat an outbreak announced last week, the WHO director general said Monday".

"The most important thing is to stop the spread of the disease, and to that end, what they have to do is track down everybody - people who have contracted Ebola or even died from Ebola", CBS News foreign correspondent Debora Patta reports.

4,000 doses of the vaccine are to be deployed to ensure that the outbreak is contained. Health workers would be among the first to receive vaccinations, according to Ilunga. The ministry reported 42 suspected cases of Ebola on May 15. A new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective, though quantities are now limited.

The WHO is planning to begin a vaccination campaign in the area, near the border with the Republic of Congo, using an available stockpile of an experimental vaccine.

GETTY    
     DEADLY Ebola is highly infectious and can spread rapidly with high fatality rates
GETTY DEADLY Ebola is highly infectious and can spread rapidly with high fatality rates

The so-called VSV-EBOV vaccine is still unlicensed, but was trialled successfully in Guinea during an epidemic in West African that killed more than 11,000 people between 2014 and 2016.

"It is important that Nigeria is proactive on measures to be taken so as not to be caught unaware about the possible outbreak of the endemic Ebola virus", he said.

The World Health Organization chose to step in and handle the situation. "Unless hospitals are prepared properly and equipped with Ebola vaccines, it would be an epidemic Nigeria might be unable to take on", she said.

Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids.

Patta reports that the epicenter of the disease is a small, remote town called Bikoro. With varying symptoms ranging from fever to diarrhoea, there was a total of 869 contacts and 20 laboratory-confirmed cases were recorded. There have also been eight cases and 115 contacts in Iboko health zone.

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