Congo warns of "new phase" in Ebola outbreak after first urban case

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 17, 2018

Congo's health ministry says 4,000 doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine have arrived in the capital, Kinshasa, amid the latest outbreak of the deadly disease. "So it means this first shipment would be probably enough for around 25-26 rings - each around one confirmed case".

The World Health Organisation, which is deploying vaccines to the country, previously expressed its concerns of the disease reaching the city of Mbandaka. The Congo Republic is on the other side of the river.

She says health experts have identified 500 contacts who are now being traced.

It is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in Congo since the disease made its first known appearance near its northern Ebola river in the 1970s.

Before Wednesday's announcement, there had been only two cases of the virus confirmed by lab tests.

"Five thousand four hundred doses of vaccine arrived from Geneva this morning" said health ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga.

The latest outbreak is believed to have killed 23people so far in the country.

Supplies sent to Congo included more than 300 body bags for safe burials in affected communities.

"In our experience, for each confirmed case of Ebola there are about 100-150 contacts and contacts of contacts eligible for vaccination", Jasarevic said.

"We are now tracing more than 4,000 contacts of patients and they have spread out all over the region of northwest Congo, so they have to be followed up and the only way to reach them is motorcycles", Salama said.

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