Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Ebola death toll rises in the DRC

Ebola death toll rises in the DRC

The vaccinations began on Wednesday and are part of a wider Ebola prevention plan in a country that has faced multiple Ebola outbreaks since 2000.

According to the World Health Organization, no less than 2,100 doses of experimental rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine are now available in the east African country, while supplementary doses have been requested. Congo shares borders with nine nations, and the United Nations fears the Ebola epidemic could spread to South Sudan as well due to the influx of Congolese refugees.

The World Health Organization, CDC and other global health organizations say they are anxious about the current Ebola outbreak spreading to port cities like Butembo, which will only exacerbate infection transmission rates. Several studies have shown that the vaccine is safe and protects against the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization said in a statement.

The Ebola virus is spread through the fluids of infected people.

The targeted districts are Kabarole, Bunyangabo, Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko, where there is an outbreak of the highly contagious disease.

The minister explained that the vaccine is only available for frontline health workers who are at high risk of contracting EVD as they manage suspected cases.

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Uganda is vaccinating against the Ebola virus spreading in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the outbreak fueled by conflict has left at least 189 people dead. The affected areas in the DRC [North Kivu and Ituri provinces] are about 100km from Uganda's border districts.

"Uganda has taken a very huge step in mitigating the risk of Ebola among health workers".

Uganda has for the first time imitated a vaccination drive against Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) as a preventive measure against the disease that has for the past months ravaged neighbours, DR Congo. Since then there have been regular outbreaks across Central and West African countries.

The current Ebola outbreak is unfolding in an active war zone with several armed groups attacking health officials, government aids and civilians. Some of these combinations include ZMapp, REGN-EB3, the antiviral drug remdesivir and single-antibody drug called mAb114.

The infection is capable of killing 20 to 70 percent of those who are infected depending on the strain of virus. There are some experimental antibody based therapies that are being tried in treating the disease.

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