Experimental Ebola vaccine to be used in Congo's outbreak, World Health Organization head says

Experimental Ebola vaccine to be used in Congo's outbreak, World Health Organization head says

Experimental Ebola vaccine to be used in Congo's outbreak, World Health Organization head says

However, NANF President, Harrison Jala, said, "Going ahead with the match with DR Congo is a serious risk for the country, which spent billions of naira not too long ago to contain the Ebola pandemic when a Liberian, Sawyer, sneaked into Lagos with the virus".

Of the 39 cases of Ebola reported since April 5, two have been confirmed using laboratory tests. A 2016 study found it to be 100% effective in trials in Guinea in coordination with the country's Ministry of Health after the 2014-15 outbreak.

This is Congo's ninth recorded Ebola outbreak, the last of which was in 2017.

Among humans, the commonest form of infection is through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of someone who is sick with Ebola or has recently died. More than 11,000 of those infected by the virus died, and case fatality rates (CFR) ranged anywhere from 50 to 70 percent, depending on the study, although some health experts believe the percentage may have been slightly lower. An Ebola outbreak in Equateur province in 2014 killed 49 people.

The current outbreak's proximity to significant trade and population centers has authorities concerned.

"The problem here is that we already have three separate locations that are reporting cases that cover as much as 60 kilometers and maybe more", Salama with World Health Organization said. Healthcare workers are among those reported to be infected.

The Bikoro area, where the outbreak is centered, borders the neighboring Republic of the Congo and the Congo River, the region's main trade route.

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Moeti said 362 contacts had been traced of those who had fallen sick - a necessary precursor to deploying the vaccines.

Unlike during the West Africa crisis, vaccines are on hand this time around.

Touris, CS Najib Balala said team of health officers sent to DRC to assess the situation as was the case of Sierra Leone.

"This is an experimental vaccine, not a licensed product, and there are a lot of complications", including ensuring it is stored at the correct temperature, Salama said.

This would mean that when a new Ebola case is diagnosed, all people who might have been in recent contact with them are traced and vaccinated to try and prevent the disease's spread. It must be kept at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius (-76°F to -112°F), creating huge logistical challenges. Towards the end of the crisis, people were treated with antibodies of survivors.

World Health Organization said that it is working with the DRC's Government to reduce loss of life and suffering.

The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.

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