Ebola: 300 People Infected In Eastern DR Congo

08 November, 2018, 18:10 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • An electron micrograph scan shows the Ebola virus emerging from an infected cell

The Uganda Ministry of Health (UMoH) announced it has started vaccinating frontline health workers against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

It follows the influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who are fleeing violence. They say unofficial border crossings also are a cause for concern.

According to Congolese health authorities, the latest victims to be infected with the virus are a newborn baby and the mother.

While the vaccine is not available for public use and is considered experimental, it's being handed out under a compassionate use program, the World Health Organization said.

Dr. Inglesby, who has spoken to Contagion® about this Ebola outbreak in the past, highlighted several red flags that have appeared in this outbreak, despite the strong responses from the World Health Organization (WHO) and worldwide partners. Fighting fear and mistrust has been a big problem for health workers in various Ebola outbreaks.Ebola has popped up multiple times in Central Africa since it was first identified in 1976.

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"There are areas that are very hard to access and in dealing with Ebola you need to be able to isolate patients, as well as contact tracing, to be following all of the contacts of different people, and safe and dignified burials", added Tricia Norwood, an Doctors Without Borders official based in Bunia in eastern DRC, near the Ugandan border. "Scientists believe such invaluable lives would have been saved had a vaccine been in existence then".

No cases have been reported in Uganda so far, but health care workers in high-risk districts bordering the Congo are getting vaccinated as a precaution, health officials said. An undiagnosed Ebola patient could present to a health facility in Uganda for medical attention. The conflict threatens health workers trying to battle the virus."I can not access entire villages". Uganda was affected before in 2000 and 2001 where the infection killed 261 and infected 574 individuals.

The current Ebola outbreak is unfolding in an active war zone with several armed groups attacking health officials, government aids and civilians.

The infection is capable of killing 20 to 70 percent of those who are infected depending on the strain of virus. Some of these combinations include ZMapp, REGN-EB3, the antiviral drug remdesivir and single-antibody drug called mAb114.

This Merck vaccine candidate rVSV-Ebola was also used in the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province in May-July 2018.

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