Merck's Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV was used in"ring vaccination during Congo's previous outbreak this year
09 August, 2018, 01:11
An experimental Ebola vaccine will get a chance to prove itself again this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Congo's health ministry is preparing to begin Ebola vaccinations Wednesday in the eastern city of Beni and neighboring Mangina village where the outbreak was announced last week, the ministry said. WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic says some of the people exposed to the deadly Ebola virus might be living in conflict zones and armed guards may have to be used to protect the health workers.
Although they were anxious then that the virus might have traveled to other regions because of its close proximity to the Congo river, there is no evidence yet suggesting that the new outbreak is related to the former outbreak in Bikoro.
Health workers in Congo have been setting up refrigerators to chill an Ebola vaccine required to handle an outbreak suspected to have infected 43 people. He says there are now 16 confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever, 27 probable cases and 31 suspected ones under investigation.
Dr Derek Gatherer, a virologist from Lancaster University, warned the outbreak earlier this summer was "reminiscent" of the 2014 Ebola pandemic.
The unsafe burial of a 65-year-old Ebola sufferer triggered the latest outbreak in the DRC, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There also is frequent cross-border trade with Uganda, which could complicate containment of the disease.
The Mininstry of Health, Congo has confirmed three more cases of Ebola in the North Kivu province of the country.
One of the biggest difficulties is geographical this time around: North Kivu Province borders Rwanda and Uganda, hosts more than 1 million displaced people, and has been the scene of intermittent fighting for decades. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population'.
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