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Ebola Vaccine Land DR. Congo

17 May 2018

Thousands of doses of Ebola vaccine arrived Wednesday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is facing an outbreak of the deadly virus, the health ministry said.

"One new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the 3 health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo", the UN's health agency said in a statement.

Adding to concerns is the city's location on the banks of the Congo River, a major thoroughfare for trade and transport into the capital, Kinshasa.

Three persons have died from the disease with 42 reported cases, including two confirmed, according to a World Health Organization tally.

She says two cases of Ebola are confirmed, 20 are probable and 20 are suspected.

It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious.

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He said scientists are working to identify the number of people who may have had contact with the virus, on top of the 500 already identified.

The World Health Organisation has sent 5,400 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to Congo, with thousands more to be shipped in the coming days.

The WHO said the risk of the disease spreading was "high" and announced it was preparing for the "worst case scenario".

Before this announcement, all confirmed Ebola cases were reported in the Bikoro health zone, where health facilities are limited and affected areas are hard to reach.

It is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the DRC. "WHO and our partners are taking decisive action to stop further spread of the virus". 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. It involves vaccinating voluntary contacts, contacts of those contacts and health care and other front-line workers.

Ebola Vaccine Land DR. Congo