Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Medical | By

Uganda's Ebola vaccination for high-risk health workers postponed to Wednesday

Uganda's Ebola vaccination for high-risk health workers postponed to Wednesday

For example, health officials in Uganda have continuously screened individuals crossing the border from the DRC; however, according to the Ministry of Health, they have now instituted the vaccination of health care workers.

It follows the influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who are fleeing violence.

The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.

The minister explained that the vaccine is only available for frontline health workers who are at high risk of contracting EVD as they manage suspected cases.

This particular vaccine is now being administered in DRC and is demonstrating positive protective results and potency against the Ebola virus-Zaire type. It is the first time the vaccine has been offered before an Ebola outbreak even starts.

The strategy in Uganda involves an experimental vaccine, which officials say will not be given to the public. The individuals in DRC who have been in contact with an Ebola patient have been vaccinated and those in contact with these contacts have also been vaccinated.

No cases have been reported in Uganda so far, but health care workers in high-risk districts bordering the Congo are getting vaccinated as a precaution, health officials said. The conflict slows healthcare workers' attempts to fight the virus.

It is the tenth outbreak of Ebola in the country, then called Zaire, where the disease was first detected in 1976. An outbreak in the western part of the country was declared over in July, after infecting 53 people and killing 33.Just days later, the current outbreak was discovered across the vast Central African nation, in a region that has been at the heart of multiple conflicts.Maggie FoxMaggie Fox is senior writer for NBC News and TODAY, writing top news and analysis on health policy, science, medical treatments and disease. Uganda was affected before in 2000 and 2001 where the infection killed 261 and infected 574 individuals.

"The virus has killed 186 people in the North Kivu and Ituri regions, while 88 others have been cured, " the ministry said on Monday. Once infected only management available is supportive therapy.

The vaccine is only used under "compassionate use" although it is not commercially licensed.

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