Vaccinations for Ebola begin in Congo town

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The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with either bodily fluids or objects contaminated by someone ill with the disease.

The last victim died in a rural area in the northwestern Equateur province, in Iboko.

Congo's Health Minister Oly Ilunga traveled to oversee the Ebola vaccinations of at least 10 people in Bikoro, where at least five of 12 Ebola deaths have happened.

Bikoro Hospital director Dr Serge Ngalebato said he and other health officials were vaccinated for protection when treating Ebola patients.

UNICEF staffer Jean Claude Nzengu, center, talks with members of an Ebola vaccination team as they prepare to administer the vaccine in an Ebola-affected community in the north-western city of Mbandaka, in Congo, Friday, May 25.

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The fact that this outbreak is occuring in Mbandaka, a city with a population of over a million inhabitants and which is one of the major ports on the Congo River, is a cause for concern for health authorities who fear the possibility of the outbreak spreading to other areas.

So the country's health ministry and its worldwide partners, such as the WHO and Oxfam, are conducting awareness campaigns by organizing community dialogues and going door-to-door to advise people on what hygiene precautions to take in times of outbreaks.

A vaccination campaign is now ongoing in Mbandaka, where four cases have been confirmed. This can make monitoring, finding and containing the infected people a lot more hard.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting in Geneva on Saturday that "I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible". Until now, over 600 people that came into contact with the infected or suspected have been identified.

A doctor and a nursing sister were threatened by locals after they were accused of bringing the disease to their communities, while people in one town prevented medics from testing the body of someone suspected to have died from Ebola, officials said, as Reuters reported.

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"At the moment, World Health Organization uses the "ring vaccination" approach" to vaccinate people who came in contact with the ones infected or who are suspected to be infected and those who were in contact with the suspected.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola.

Global trade and travel restrictions have been put on high-alert and World Health Organization is working hard to prevent Ebola from spreading to nine different countries with talking closely with the country's officials.

With symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding, the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

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