WHO To Send Ebola Vaccine To DR Congo

WHO To Send Ebola Vaccine To DR Congo

The measures include providing vaccinations to prevent the disease and administering supplies to support infected individuals.

The WHO said earlier on Monday that the Democratic Republic of Congo had reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between April 4 and May 13, including 19 deaths.

More than 11,000 people died and some 28,000 cases were reported in an Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2015. "We already have three separate locations that are reporting cases", said the WHO's deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, Peter Salama. "We have enough of them", said the WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

It said in a statement that 393 people who identified as contacts of Ebola patients are being followed up.

On May 3, local health authorities reported a mysterious cluster of 21 unexplained illnesses in the Bikoro Health District, located in the Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. "We have to get ahead of the curve and make promising diagnostics, drugs and vaccines for diseases we know could be a threat in the future".


The current outbreak is in a relatively remote area, with poor roads that both slow transmission and slow the access of responders as well. Although not confirmed, the disease is thought to be carried in fruit bats and can be transmitted through blood or bodily fluids between wild animals and humans. Since then, it has been infecting people from time to time, leading to outbreaks in several African countries. Also known as V920, the experimental vaccine showed astounding results following a first round of human trials in late 2016, after being fast-tracked due to the severity of the West Africa outbreak.

WHO said that the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is coordinating the response, and WHO is working with the agency.

After meeting with DR Congo President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa, the WHO chief praised "the government's very strong leadership" in responding to the health crisis and its "good coordination" with partners such as Unicef and Doctors without Borders (MSF).

Matshidiso Moeti told Reuters by telephone.

Unfortunately, there's now no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola, although researchers are working on potential new vaccines an drug therapies that are being developed and tested.

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