Ebola vaccinations begin in Congo's latest deadly outbreak

Maricruz Casares
Agosto 10, 2018

Nine Ebola victims have been confirmed dead Ebola victims since the virus resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo this month.

At least nine Ebola deaths are confirmed in the new outbreak, which was declared august 1, the health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, said in a statement Tuesday.

"Teams of health workers from the WHO and the Ministry of Health are on the ground to treat the victims and immunize people in the villages, where the epidemic has been reported", Lengu told Anadolu Agency.

Congo's health ministry has said the new vaccination campaign will target health care providers, contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts, the same strategy that was used to contain the previous outbreak in Equateur province in which more than 3,300 people were vaccinated.

"All the measures of prevention are in place".

The disease is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids and can cause fever, vomiting, diarrohoea and death.

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Nearly 1,000 people who have had "contact" with the virus have been registered in health zones under surveillance, it said.

This is Congo's 10th Ebola outbreak since the virus was first identified near northern Congo's Ebola river.

Peter Salama, WHO deputy director for emergency preparedness and response, gave the results of genetic sequencing in a tweet saying that analysis showed it was a new outbreak in North Kivu province.

The experimental vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck, proved successful during its first wide-scale usage against an outbreak of Zaire virus on the other side of Congo in the northwest that was declared over less than two weeks ago after killing 33.

World Health Organization has said 3,000 doses of the vaccine are still in Congo's capital, Kinshasa, and it can access up to 300,000 more on short notice.

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, suspected to have been killed by a militia group.

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