World Health Organization gets approval to use Ebola vaccine in DRC

WHO gets approval to use Ebola vaccine in DRC
19 Dead, 39 Sick in New Outbreak: Death Rate at 50 Percent
Author

15 May, 2018

At least 19 deaths have been tied to the current outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province.

West Africa experienced the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola over a two-year period beginning in March 2014; a total of 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths, according to the WHO.

In addition, an experimental ebola vaccine, which was developed during the 2014 to 2016 Ebola epidemic but was too late to make an impact, will be deployed by the World Health Organization in the DRC.

The main jobs are checking to see how many people are infected and where; whether there have been past cases that went unreported; making sure people know how to bury the dead safely; and testing and treating people with suspected infections. Mobile laboratories have been sent to Mbandaka and Bikoro.

New Ebola outbreak has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"This is an experimental vaccine, not a licensed product, and there are a lot of complications", including ensuring it is stored at the correct temperature, Salama said.

Three health care workers are among those who have been infected. Contact tracing efforts are already underway.

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Four new Ebola cases recorded in north-west DRC
Babatunde Babasanya, who actually led our efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during the outbreak in 2014". It said they had already arrived in the regional capital Mbandaka, about 150 km away from the affected area.


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To date, 393 contacts have been identified and are being followed-up.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director-general, told reporters Monday that the agency has received permission from Congo officials to import the vaccine, which he hopes would arrive by the end of this week.

Dr Tedros met with the President of DR Congo, Mr Joseph Kabila and the Minister of Health Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga to review the steps taken so far and agree the way forward.

The vaccine was developed by the Canadian government and its production has been licensed to Merck in the U.S. Although it was designed and found to be highly effective for a different strain of the virus, it is still considered to be safe and effective.

The director-general noted that DRC has lots of experiencing combating Ebola.

All nine countries that neighbour DRC have been put of high alert over the possible spread of Ebola and worldwide aid teams have flown in to help. Here are some of the most recent epidemics. That work is vital both to encourage people to agree to be vaccinated and to figure out if any local practices are increasing the risk the virus will spread.


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