losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com May 20, 2018


DRC Ebola outbreak expands, 19 deaths reportedly connected to the virus

15 May 2018, 03:07 | Violet Powell

WHO gets approval to use Ebola vaccine in DRC

This comes days after the first confirmed death in the Democratic Republic of Congo which also has 11 known sufferers (a health worker

The DRC has reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between 4 April and 13 May, including 19 deaths.

The shot, which was tested in Guinea in 2015 at the end of a vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa, is designed for use in a so-called "ring vaccination" approach.

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

Tedros led a WHO delegation that included Matshidiso Moeti, MD, WHO regional director for Africa, and Peter Salama, MD, WHO deputy director-general, emergency preparedness and response.

Concise News gathered that the outbreak was first confirmed by the organisation on May 8 with the two cases occurring at Bikoro health zone, Equateur province.

"This outbreak is very close to the Republic of Congo and Central African Republic".

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Most of the cases so far have been recorded around the village of Ikoko Impenge, near the northwestern town of Bikoro, Salama said. A 2016 study found it to be 100% effective in trials in Guinea in coordination with the country's Ministry of Health after the 2014-15 outbreak. "We have three health care workers infected and one already died". But the vaccine is still experimental as it does not have a licence.

Transporting the vaccines to the affected area would be logistically challenging.

Despite its isolation, the outbreak's epicenter is just three hours by road to a city of 1 million people, and public health officials are concerned it could spread, The New York Times reports. "This is a highly complex sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on Earth", Salama said. Mobile laboratories have been sent to Mbandaka and Bikoro.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission, either through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or secretions or contact with materials that are contaminated with these liquids.

"Public health emergency of worldwide concern" means an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in these Regulations: "(i) to constitute a public health risk to other States through the global spread of disease and (ii) to potentially require a coordinated worldwide response".

The dreaded Ebola virus has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the governments of Africa and the United Nations are now better equipped to deal with the disease before it again claims thousands of lives.



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