Health Care

Experimental vaccine approved for use 'against' Ebola virus in Congo

Experimental vaccine approved for use 'against' Ebola virus in Congo”

It's thought 4,000 doses will be sent to the remote north-western province of Equateur.

The government has authorised the World Health Organization to use the VSV vaccine, which was trialled successfully in Guinea in 2015.

"Everything is ready for the vaccine".

But the town is a port, on Lake Tumba.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, has arrived Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), to assess the needs of Ebola response first-hand. People who received the vaccine did not get infected 10 or days more after receiving it, while there were 23 Ebola cases reported in the same time frame among individuals who did not receive the vaccine.

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"That's our plan. And so far things are going as planned", he said, expressing hope that the quick response will speed containment of the outbreak.

DRC has seen 18 deaths over the past five weeks, but Congolese authorities together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global groups have now mobilized staff and resources to contain the virus. At least 18 of those people have died. "We have three health care workers infected and one already died".

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.

Controlling the spread in the community is combatted by tracing and isolating people who have been in contact with an Ebola victim.

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.

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The WHO has deployed 50 public health experts to support the health ministry of the DRC with response activities. WHO's director-general met President Joseph Kabila and traveled to Bikoro together with DRC Health Minister Oly Ilunga.

"We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already", Tedros told reporters.

There is no current vaccine to prevent Ebola or licensed treatment for it, although a range of experimental drugs is in development. And in 2017, the DRC experienced another outbreak of eight cases. The first known outbreak, in 1976, happened there.

Direct Relief is closely monitoring this outbreak situation in conjunction with healthcare partners at the UCLA-DRC Health Research and Training Program which is conducting Ebola virus research at the Institute National de Recherche Biomedicale.

Gashumba revealed there is a constant screening system at Kigali International Airport to track the outbreak from people coming from overseas to make sure the disease does not spread in the country while more operations are intensively being done on the country's borders.

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