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Ebola virus infects 300 people in eastern Congo

08 November 2018

Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the World Health Organization representative to Uganda said the vaccination as a huge step in mitigating the risk of Ebola among healthcare workers.

It will be the first time the vaccine is used in a country, not in the midst of an active Ebola outbreak. Under this approach, all the people who have been in contact with an Ebola patient are vaccinated, and then people who have been in contact with those contacts are also vaccinated.

In 2015, the rVSV-Ebola vaccine was given to more than 16,000 volunteers involved in several studies in Africa, Europe and the United States where it was found to be safe and protective against the Ebola virus.

Uganda shares a border with Congo, and both nations experience a robust movement of people between them as a result of trade and the region's high population. It's a war zone, with militant groups battling the government for control of various regions.

Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said that the administration of the Ebola vaccine to frontline healthcare workers has been the missing link in the country's EVD preparation and readiness efforts.

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More than 1 million people live in the affected districts of Beni, Mabalako, Oicha, and Mambasa, according to Care International.

Since the latest outbreak started in August, there have been 305 reported cases of Ebola in Congo's Ituri and North Kivu provinces, according to the WHO. The last outbreak, contained in July, sickened 53 people and killed 33. These red flags include that half of the outbreak cases have occurred in the past month, a total of 28 health care workers have been infected, contact tracing is becoming hard because of violence in the region, and that community members are dying from Ebola infection before being diagnosed.

A World Health Organization assessment of the situation in DRC released on 22 October, warned of the potential for the virus to spread into Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi, as well as Uganda, and called on these countries to step up readiness efforts.

The Ebola virus which is transmitted by bats after detection in DRC was named after the Ebola river.

Ebola causes fever, severe headaches and in some cases hemorrhaging. In some cases, the virus is spread through contact with someone who has died from the disease. It can also spread through sexual contact.

Ebola virus infects 300 people in eastern Congo