Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Medical | By

First batch of Ebola vaccines arrives in Congo to combat outbreak

First batch of Ebola vaccines arrives in Congo to combat outbreak

Health workers have recorded confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in three health zones of Congo's Equateur province, and have identified 432 people who may have had contact with the disease.

The first batch of 4,000 experimental Ebola vaccines to combat an outbreak suspected to have killed 20 people arrived in Congo's capital Kinshasa on Wednesday, said a Reuters witness at the airport.

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. The WHO has said was concerned about the disease reaching Mbandaka because the city's density would make the outbreak far harder to tackle.

A total of 250,000 USA dollars has been set aside for outbreak response activities by the Africa CDC, and member countries have been pledging support by contributing health workers. However, the vaccine proved to be effective when it was tested.

CBS News' Patta said the fact that there is a vaccine marks a significant difference between the outbreak in West Africa that started in 2014 and the outbreak in the Congo today.

It will be reserved for people suspected of coming in contact with the disease.

Ethiopia has established a high level national taskforce to prevent Ebola virus that has occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Patta also reports that a crucial difference between the two outbreaks is the speed at which global agencies have responded.

The World Health Organisation has counted 35 new cases and 18 deaths since May 8. More than 11,000 people died before the outbreak was contained. "Unless hospitals are prepared properly and equipped with Ebola vaccines, it would be an epidemic Nigeria might be unable to take on", she said.

Patta reports that the epicenter of the disease is a small, remote town called Bikoro.

"Majority of the cases are in the health zone of Bikoro; others are reported in the health zones of Iboko and Wangata", Ilunga said.

It brings to 35 the number of reported cases, including two confirmed, according to the World Health Organization tally.

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