Congo receives first doses of Ebola vaccine as outbreak hits urban centre

Congo receives first doses of Ebola vaccine as outbreak hits urban centre

Reports say the outbreak did not meet the criteria for declaring it a "public health event of global concern", which would trigger the formation of an emergency WHO committee.

Three health care workers were also among 19 deaths, the WHO said in a statement.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) a total of 42 Ebola virus disease cases had been reported in DRC, including 19 deaths.

The Ministry's spokesperson Jessica Ilunga said this on Tuesday. In the meantime, Pinnick has reassured there will be no health risks on the arrival of DRC following the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola disease in that country.

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday said the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the industrial action embarked upon by health workers across the country was a clear manifestation of insensitivity to the plight and suffering of Nigerians.

Three nurses are among the suspected cases, and one is among the dead.

The Health Ministry said a vaccination programme would start on the weekend in Democratic Republic of Congo's northwestern Equateur province, where dozens of others are suspected to have been infected. A new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective, though quantities are now limited.

The Nigeria Football Federation will pay out $250,000 for a chartered flight for the DR Congo to fly in for a friendly against the Super Eagles. While none has been connected to the one in West Africa, the experimental vaccine is thought to be effective against the Zaire strain of Ebola found in Congo.

"The vaccine is complicated to use, requiring storage at a temperature between -60 and -80 C".

"The Senate also notes the report of World Health Organization stating that Nigeria and other African countries are at modest risk of spread. Unless hospitals are prepared properly and equipped with Ebola vaccines, it would be an epidemic Nigeria might be unable to take on", she said.

"Majority of the cases are in the health zone of Bikoro; others are reported in the health zones of Iboko and Wangata", Ilunga said. The vaccine must be used on every person who has been in a recent contact with someone who has Ebola.

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