WHO To Send Ebola Vaccine To DR Congo

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East African states bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had issued an alert warning resident, travelers and visitors calling to the region to take serious precaution over the outbreak of the deadly and infectious Ebola virus recently reported in Bikoro, Equateur Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The remaining 12 cases are suspected.

The WHO Director General, Deputy Director General for Emergency Preparedness and Response together with the WHO Regional Director for Africa will be in Kinshasa on 13 May to review operations and discuss further support to the Ministry of Health.

According to him, as of May 11, "our case count is two confirmed cases, 12 suspected cases and 18 probable cases".

The outbreak has been localized to three health areas, namely Bikoro (29 cases), Iboko (8 cases) and Wangata (2 cases).

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"Even though it's a remote, rural area, which usually gives us a sense of reassurance in the sense of an outbreak, the problem is that we already have three separate locations that are reported cases that cover as much as 60 km (37 miles) or more", Salama told a news conference.

The WHO statement noted that 393 people who have been in contact with Ebola sufferers are being followed up, but information on the outbreak is still limited.

At present the outbreak did not meet the criteria for declaring a "public health event of worldwide concern", which would trigger the formation of an emergency WHO committee. WHO's director-general met President Joseph Kabila and traveled to Bikoro together with DRC Health Minister Oly Ilunga.

"I am impressed by the strong leadership the Government of DR Congo showed in the response to this outbreak from day one", said Tedros.

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"We're working on the deployment of these materials, especially readying the cold chain [storage equipment]".

Scientists at the national microbiology lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, have prepared an experimental Ebola vaccine for shipment to the world health organisation.

The WHO says it is unclear whether the virus may be transmitted through sexual intercourse, but urges safe-sex practices among all Ebola survivors and their sexual partners.

In addition, an experimental ebola vaccine, which was developed during the 2014 to 2016 Ebola epidemic but was too late to make an impact, will be deployed by the World Health Organization in the DRC.

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Any other persons with potential exposure to Ebola, such as laboratory workers, surveillance and contact teams, will also be vaccinated. Worldwide agencies rushed staff and materials in to stop it. Officials said the man lost his wife 3 weeks ago, but details about her death are unknown at this time.

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