Ebola death toll rises in the DRC

Ebola death toll rises in the DRC

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.

A UNICEF staff member discusses the best way to protect yourself against Ebola in a September 12, 2018 conversation with young people living in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, after a recent Ebola outbreak.

More deaths have been recorded in the Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, claiming more than 180 lives. Indeed, this particular vaccine is now being administered in DRC and is demonstrating positive protective results and potency against the Ebola virus-Zaire type.

No cases of Ebola have so far been reported in Uganda, but the authorities are implementing the plan in order to avoid the fatal consequences of previous outbreaks, which saw health workers contract the disease and die as they cared for patients.

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and Congo, and gets its name from a river in the latter nation.

Uganda's Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said she believes 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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In 2015, the 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.

In Congo, where thousands of people have been given the experimental Ebola vaccine, a worrying number of vaccinated health workers have been infected.

The vaccine, although subject to more scientific research and is still not yet licensed, is "being used on a compassionate basis, to protect persons at highest risk of the Ebola outbreak", the statement said. "Therefore, the vaccine is not available to the general population at this stage".

The five districts prone to the disease include Ntoroko where the drive will start from on Wednesday, Kabarole, Bunyangabu, Kasese, and Buindibugyo. "This is targeted vaccination", Aceng emphasized.

Concerns that an undiagnosed Ebola patient may arrive at a health facility seeking treatment led to the decision to vaccinate health care workers at the highest risk of contracting the highly-infectious hemorrhagic fever, in 40 facilities near the border.

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