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Experimental vaccine arrives in Congo to struggle new Ebola outbreak

KINSHASA, Congo — Hundreds of doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine have arrived in Congo’s capital amid the newest outbreak of the lethal illness, the well being ministry stated Wednesday. The four,000 doses might be despatched to the distant northwest the place two confirmed Ebola circumstances, 20 possible ones and 20 suspected ones have been reported, spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga stated. A further four,000 doses might be deployed within the coming days with extra accessible if wanted, the World Well being Group (WHO) stated. 

WHO has reported 23 deaths among the many 42 circumstances as medical groups attempt to comprise the hemorrhagic fever. Well being consultants have recognized 500 contacts of the circumstances and they’re now being traced, Ilunga stated. 

“A very powerful factor is to cease the unfold of the illness, and to that finish, what they should do is monitor down everyone — individuals who have contracted Ebola and even died from Ebola,” CBS Information overseas correspondent Debora Patta experiences.

WHO stated it’ll use the “ring vaccination” technique, which includes vaccinating voluntary contacts, contacts of these contacts and well being care and different front-line employees. Well being employees could be among the many first to obtain vaccinations, in response to Ilunga. 

Three nurses are among the many suspected circumstances, and one is among the many useless.  

A well being employee is sprayed with chlorine after visiting the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital, which acquired a brand new suspected Ebola case, in Bikoro, Democratic Republic of Congo Might 12, 2018.

STRINGER/REUTERS

The experimental vaccine has been proven to be extremely efficient towards Ebola. It was examined in Guinea in 2015 through the outbreak that killed greater than 11,300 folks in West Africa from 2014 to 2016. 

That is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976. Whereas none has been linked to the one in West Africa, the experimental vaccine is considered efficient towards the Zaire pressure of Ebola present in Congo. 

CBS Information’ Patta stated the actual fact that there’s a vaccine marks a major distinction between the outbreak in West Africa that began in 2014 and the outbreak within the Congo at this time.

“It might probably’t treatment Ebola, however what it may well do is cease the unfold of the illness,” she stated.

Patta additionally experiences essential distinction between the 2 outbreaks is the velocity at which worldwide companies have responded.

“In 2014, you keep in mind that the World Well being Group and different companies have been criticized for being ‘staggeringly gradual’ to reply,” Patta stated. Greater than 11,000 folks died earlier than the outbreak was contained.

“This time, they’ve wasted no time,” she stated. 

Patta experiences that the epicenter of the illness is a small, distant city known as Bikoro. Congo’s well being ministry introduced the Ebola outbreak on Might eight after two circumstances have been confirmed there. The Bikoro well being zone is about 150 kilometers — 93 miles — from Mbandaka and 45 kilometers from Ikoko Impenge, the place suspected circumstances have been reported.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This materials is probably not printed, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Related Press contributed to this report.

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