Ebola vaccines arrive in Congo as disease spreads

DR Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to city says WHO

DR Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to city says WHO

African Union (AU) sent today a health team to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to monitor the situation and the country " s required level of support to stop Ebola outbreak.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga late Wednesday said two suspected cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in the Wangata health zones, which includes Mbandaka city, about 93 miles from Bikoro, the rural area where the outbreak began.

The WHO is anxious about the disease reaching the city of Mbandaka with a population of about 1 million people, which would make the outbreak far harder to tackle.

He said scientists are working to identify the number of people who may have had contact with the virus, on top of the 500 already identified.

The minister has confirmed that three case of Ebola have been detected so far in the urban area. Vaccine for curing Ebola has not been discovered yet.

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The first batch of 4,000 doses of vaccine was already being flown to Kinshasa, and the World Health Organization plans to send a second batch of 4,000 doses in coming days, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

The vaccine, developed by Merck and Co Inc, is still not licensed but proved effective during limited trials in West Africa in the biggest-ever outbreak of Ebola, which killed 11,300 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2016.

Health officials have confirmed a case in the northwest city of Mbandaka, a busy river port located at the intersection of the Congo and Ruki rivers and with trade routes to the capital Kinshasa. He said another 4,000-vaccine batch was expected soon.

She says two cases of Ebola are confirmed, 20 are probable and 20 are suspected. The health body also sent 300 body bags for safe burials in affected communities. Health workers would be among the first to receive vaccinations, according to Ilunga.

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