Congo Government Raises Number of Suspected Ebola Cases to 42
16 May, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Earnest Bishop
According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organisation has agreement, registration, plus import permit and the vaccinations could begin by next Monday, he said. "All is ready now to really use it".
The vaccine, developed by Merck in 2016, has proven safe and effective in human trials, but it is still experimental as it does not yet have a license. It must be kept at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius (-76°F to -112°F), creating huge logistical challenges.
Of the 20 people who died in the DRC, three are health workers, said the director, adding that the outbreak has also occurred in a remote part of the country, challenging deployment of health workers and the necessary supplies, which has made the situation a big concern.
The shot, which was tested in Guinea in 2015 at the end of a vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa, is designed for use in a so-called "ring vaccination" approach.
Punch reports that 4,000 doses of Ebola vaccine would be sent to DRC by World Health Organization in the nearest furture.
The CDC advised people to avoid non-essential travel to the DR Congo, saying if they must travel, they should avoid coming into contact with living or dead wild animals, eating wild animal meat and visiting Ebola patients. "If a general can not be with its troops in the front line it's not a general", he said.
"In spite of quick measures taken, the epidemic claimed eight lives including those of medical personnel who put their lives at risk to contain the disease".
He praised the Congolese government, including President Joseph Kabila whom he met during his trip.
Currently, the outbreak does not meet the criteria for declaring a "public health event of global concern".
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