Thursday, 24 May, 2018

World Health Organization develops experimental Ebola vaccine

Ebola Nigeria begins screening travelers at airports Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Anna Jefferson | 11 May, 2018, 18:51

It can be used to protect people who have had contact with Ebola victims, stopping the spread of disease, but that requires intensive contact tracing, which Salama said could take a week or two just for the cases already documented.

A hospital director says there are five new suspected cases of Ebola in Congo's northwestern town of Bikoro, where an outbreak of the often deadly hemorrhagic fever was declared this week.

This is the DRC's ninth Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976.

Health workers who facilitate Ebola vaccinations.

That would bring the total number of people reporting symptoms to 25, of whom at least 17 have so far died.

None of the Ebola outbreaks in DRC have been connected to the massive outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa that began in 2014 and left more than 11 300 dead.

"According to our early information, the cases have been reported since December and the first deaths were reported in January, but the link between the deaths and the epidemic has not yet been established", WHO Congo spokesperson Eugene Kabambi told Reuters.

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Democratic Republic of Congo's health ministry said it had dispatched a team of 12 experts to the northwest to try to trace new contacts of the disease, identify the epicentre and all affected villages and provide resources.

Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.

World Health Organization is particularly concerned about the virus reaching Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province, which has around one million inhabitants and is only a few hours away from Bikoro.

Ebola is best known and most feared for the internal and external bleeding it can cause in its victims, owing to damage done to blood vessels.

Nigeria's airports, seaports and land borders have been placed on high alert after the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola this week.

After the initial symptoms, patients may develop diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain and reduced kidney or liver function.

"I want to assure Kenyans and all travelers to Kenya that there is no Ebola case reported in the country, and adequate measures have been put to place to ensure that the Ebola virus is not introduced or imported to the Country", said Balala. But, Ikoko Impenge and Bikoro are situated not far from the banks of the Congo River, a major artery for trade and transport upstream from the capital Kinshasa.

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