Ebola: WHO Director General Arrives Kinshasa To Assess Needs For Curtailment

Health officials are preparing for the'worst Ebola outbreak yet

WHO gets approval to use Ebola vaccine in DRC

West Africa experienced the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola over a two-year period beginning in March 2014; a total of 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths, according to the WHO.

The main jobs are checking to see how many people are infected and where; whether there have been past cases that went unreported; making sure people know how to bury the dead safely; and testing and treating people with suspected infections. Wangata health zone is adjacent to the provincial port city of Mbandaka (population 1.2 million).

According to both Stat and Reuters, the DRC granted the World Health Organization approval to use the investigational recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-Zaire Ebola virus (rVSV-ZEBOV) in a ring vaccination targeting close contacts of Ebola patients.

The health ministry said: "Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an global public health emergency".

According to the World Health Organization, the DRC reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between 4 April and 13 May, including 19 deaths. So far, 19 people have died of the highly-contagious hemorrhagic fever and another 39 cases are suspected. The 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa involved major urban areas as well as rural ones. Three health care workers are among the cases and one has died.

Any other persons with potential exposure to Ebola, such as laboratory workers, surveillance and contact teams, will also be vaccinated.

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

The WHO obtained 4,000 doses of the vaccine, and on May 13, was already preparing to send them, along with specialists, to the African country.

Transporting the vaccines to the affected area would be logistically challenging. "This is a highly complex sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on Earth", Salama said.

M-decins Sans Fronti-res has set up four five-bed mobile isolation units to increase the hospital bed capacity in Bikoro, which is now 15 beds. The virus spreads through bodily fluids, including vomit and blood.

Elsewhere in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Direct Relief is also supporting the efforts of Save the Children to respond to the needs of displaced people, and continues to be in dialogue with Congolese health authorities in terms of where best to meet health needs throughout the country.

The Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is coordinating the response.

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