World Health Organization to send Ebola vaccines to DRC as virus spreads

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World Health Organisation bosses have said they are preparing for the worst case scenario over the initial outbreak in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

World Health Organization says it hopes to deploy the experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak in a remote area of the Congo Democratic Republic to prevent it spreading, particularly to the provincial capital which has over 1 million people.

In addition, he said that the surrounding nine countries had been put on "high alert".

Kinshasa/ Nairobi/Geneva, 12 May 2018-A Red Cross team has deployed to Equateur province in north-western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), bringing with them much needed stocks of life-saving equipment and supplies to prevent the further spread of Ebola.

WHO Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salam made the announcement today.

Cases have already been reported in three separate locations around Bikoro, and Mr Salama warned there was a clear risk the disease could spread to more densely populated areas.

So far, no case of Ebola has been reported in Angola.

Seven patients are hospitalized in the town of Bikoro in Equateur province, including the two who tested positive for the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus and confirmed the outbreak, while four are in a nearby health center, Ilunga says.

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However, this is the first time that the Bikoro health zone is facing an Ebola outbreak.

"We will also ensure we step up all activities screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unawares", said health minister, Isaac Adewole.

Salama also said there was no evidence of a link between the outbreak and eight deaths that occurred in January and February in the same area, which had not been confirmed as Ebola.

After the catastrophic 2014 outbreak, Obama went to Congress and passed a $5.4 billion package of funding for dealing with any possible Ebola outbreak.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the virus was isolated there in 1976.

The effort also requires a field epidemiology push to identify every case and every contact for vaccination, he said.

The VSV-EBOV vaccine, developed in Canada and licensed by NewLink Genetics and Merck, was shown to be highly effective in a ring vaccination trial in Guinea during West Africa's outbreak.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission, either through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or secretions or contact with materials that are contaminated with these liquids.