Thursday, 24 May, 2018


DRC's health ministry says doses of Ebola vaccine arrive

19 dead, 39 infected in Congo Ebola outbreak: WHO 19 dead in Ebola outbreak in DRC
Patty Aguilar | 16 May, 2018, 23:11

Despite the fact that the outbreak is in a remote area, the proximity to the Congo River increases the risk that the virus will spread to neighbouring regions and countries.

According to the World Health Organisation on Monday, a total of 39 Ebola virus disease cases had been reported in DRC from April 4 through May 13, including 19 deaths.

"The aim is for health officials to start using the vaccine, once it's shipped, by the end of the week, or next week if there are difficulties, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus..." There is no specific treatment for Ebola.

Congo's health minister on Thursday announced the first death since the outbreak was declared early this week, though the hemorrhagic fever blamed for the death has not been confirmed as Ebola.

The Senate also urged the Minister of Interior to take necessary steps to check immigration, just as it asked the Minister of Health to ensure alertness to combat whatever cases that might arise and get Ebola vaccines ready for an emergency. "The remaining 12 cases are suspected..."

Information about the outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko and Wangata in Equateur province was still limited, the WHO said, but at present the outbreak does not meet the criteria for declaring a "public health event of global concern", which would trigger the formation of an emergency WHO committee. "So it means this first shipment would be probably enough for around 25-26 rings - each around one confirmed case". It involves vaccinating voluntary contacts, contacts of those contacts and health care and other front-line workers.

She said, "The Senate recalls with great distress that an infected immigrant, Patrick Sawyer, (a Liberian) who arrived Nigeria on the 23rd of July, (2014) was the index case of the Ebola virus in Nigeria. So we are very concerned".

The WHO is anxious about the disease reaching the city of Mbandaka with a population of about 1 million people, which would make the outbreak far harder to tackle. World Health Organization has reported 23 deaths among the 42 cases as medical teams try to contain the hemorrhagic fever in Equateur province.

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