Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Eastern Congo Ebola outbreak has killed 33: Health ministry

Eastern Congo Ebola outbreak has killed 33: Health ministry

Beni's Ebola response director Barthe Ndjoloko Tambwe said the vaccinations would be given to health care providers, confirmed Ebola victims and those with whom they have been in contact.

The experimental new vaccine, developed by pharmaceutical company Merck, was deemed successful in its first wide-scale test against a separate recent Ebola outbreak in the country's northwest, Reuters reports.

A nurse working with the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a bottle containing Ebola vaccine.

In this way, immunization will begin tomorrow and is aimed at front-line medical personnel, people who have had contact with confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts.

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In the DRC's last outbreak in western Equateur province, there were also "massive logistical constraints", says Mr Jašarević.

Health workers will need to ensure that the vaccines remain refrigerated throughout the supply chain: a tall order in under-developed regions. He says there are now 16 confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever, 27 probable cases and 31 suspected ones under investigation.

Among the ill were three healthcare workers, two of whom died.

Dr Derek Gatherer, a virologist from Lancaster University, warned the outbreak earlier this summer was "reminiscent" of the 2014 Ebola pandemic.

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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. Trade activities between the countries result in frequent cross-border movement.

This region north of North Kivu province is already threatened by armed groups including the fearsome Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who have terrorized Beni for several years.

Local authorities announced on Tuesday that 14 bodies had been discovered in the town of Tubameme, about 40 km (25 miles) northeast of the epicenter of the outbreak in the town of Mangina.

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