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Experimental Ebola Vaccinations to Resume in Democratic Republic of Congo

09 August 2018

The BMJ has reported that Ebola has reappeared in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) just a week after an outbreak in the western part of the country was declared over.

The drug was previously successful in containing an outbreak in the northwest of the country.

In the latest outbreak, declared last week, 43 people are believed to have been infected in North Kivu province, including 33 who have died, the United Nations health agency said.

It said Ebola Virus Disease rapid diagnostic tests have been provided to the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo proclaimed the end of the ninth outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus on Tuesday, July 24, during a press conference in Kinshasa.

But the new outbreak in the East of the DRC is on track to dwarf the one that sparked worldwide panic in earlier this summer in the North West.

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That outbreak more than 2,500 kilometres away had 33 confirmed Ebola deaths. "Teams are conducting investigations on the ground to identify the contacts of the confirmed cases, including health workers", he says.

Testing by the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale has suggested that the virus causing this outbreak belongs to the Ebola Zaire species.

A cross border meeting was also held to devise means of reducing the risks of the disease spread. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population'.

One of the biggest difficulties is geographical this time around: North Kivu Province borders Rwanda and Uganda, hosts more than 1 million displaced people, and has been the scene of intermittent fighting for decades. He says 30 World Health Organization staff members have been deployed to the area and more experts are on the way.

"Current response focus includes contact tracing, infection prevention and control, particularly as regards health facilities; isolation and care of patients (and) outreach to communities", reads the WHO statement.

Experimental Ebola Vaccinations to Resume in Democratic Republic of Congo