Congo Ebola vaccinations begin

Modesto Morganelli
Agosto 10, 2018

The first to be vaccinated are health workers, contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts.

The Ebola outbreak in Congo is confirmed to be the Zaire strain of the virus and vaccinations of health workers may start as early as Wednesday, a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said. "At this point, there is no indication that these two epidemics, which are more than 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) apart, are connected", Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga said in a statement.

"Twelve teams of vaccinators will be deployed in different affected areas", the ministry said, adding that teams had arrived in Beni.

Congo's health ministry on Tuesday confirmed 43 people have been infected by the virus in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, 36 of which have been confirmed dead.

Salama cited new results of genetic analysis that confirm the strain of Ebola in the new outbreak is the Zaire strain, one for which the vaccine can be used.

The health ministry on August 1 announced that the country was facing its 10th outbreak of Ebola since 1976.

Thirty-three people died in an outbreak in the northwest which was only declared over at the end of July.

Health experts in the city closest to the new outbreak, Beni, have been setting up "cold chains" to keep the vaccines at the optimal temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 158 degrees Fahrenheit), a challenge in a region with hot temperatures and unreliable power supplies.

On Monday, then country's health ministry said it had found 25 cases of fever near the town of Beni and that samples had been sent to the capital Kinshasa for testing.

Nearly 1,000 people who have had "contact" with the virus have been registered in health zones under surveillance, it said.

In the past, dozens of people were killed by the disease in the central African country.

There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE