Medicine

First batch of Ebola vaccines arrives in Congo to combat outbreak

First batch of Ebola vaccines arrives in Congo to combat outbreak

Congo confirmed its latest Ebola epidemic, the ninth since the disease was first recorded in the central African nation in 1976, on May 8, when two patients suspected of carrying the virus tested positive.

The senate has asked Isaac Adewole, minister of health, to get emergency vaccines in the event of a case of Ebola in the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday said it has been authorised to use an experimental vaccine to combat an outbreak of Ebola in the DRC, where at least 19 people have been killed by the virus.

While for many of us Ebola seems like a distant memory, there are still many persons who suffer from it.

The first batch of 4,000 doses of vaccine was already being flown to Kinshasa, and the World Health Organization plans to send a second batch of 4,000 doses in coming days, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. Merck has given its permission for the vaccine to be used in this outbreak.

The experimental vaccine was shown to be effective during limited trials in West Africa during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 11,000 people.

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Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids.

"If it also protects against the strain of the virus that now is active in the Congo, it could play a major role in ending the outbreak".

"As if that was not enough, upon his return to Nigeria, instead of summoning an emergency meeting of critical stakeholders to find solution to the problem, Mr. President abandoned the striking health workers and chose to organize and attend a political rally in Jigawa State".

Patta reports that the epicenter of the disease is a small, remote town called Bikoro. "With varying symptoms ranging from fever to diarrhoea, there were a total of 869 contacts and 20 laboratory confirmed cases were recorded", she said.

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