4000 experimental Ebola vaccines arrive in DRC

  • 4000 experimental Ebola vaccines arrive in DRC

4000 experimental Ebola vaccines arrive in DRC

"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. It was named for the Ebola River in Congo, where it was first identified in 1976.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's new ebola outbreak has entered a "new phase", the country's health minister has announced.

While this strategy is being put in place, the "pillars" of an Ebola intervention-early treatment and isolation of sick people; tracing and following up contacts; informing people about the disease, how to prevent it, and where to seek care; supporting existing health care; and temporarily changing cultural behavior around funerals-must continue in order to stem the spread of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO), which on Wednesday deployed the first experimental vaccines in the vast central African country, had expressed concern about the disease reaching Mbandaka, which would make the outbreak far harder to tackle.

They would be kept in Kinshasa until a refrigerated transportation chain could be guaranteed.

It is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in Congo since the disease made its first-known appearance near its northern Ebola river in the 1970s.

Health Ministry spokeswoman, Jessica Ilunga said "Five thousand four hundred doses of vaccine arrived from Geneva this morning".

"Over the next few days we will be reassessing the projected numbers of cases that we might have and then if we need to bring in more vaccine we will do so in a very short notice".

A total of 44 cases of hemorrhagic fever have now been reported, including 23 deaths, according to the health ministry. The health body also sent 300 body bags for safe burials in affected communities.