World Health Organization to send Ebola vaccines to DRC as virus spreads
12 May, 2018, 23:13 | Author: Stuart Potter
The WHO estimates that the 3-month air bridge cost to be $2.4 million. Samples were taken from each of the five active cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale, Kinshasa on 6 May 2018.
Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama is reported by Reuters to have said that his outfit is "preparing for the worst-case scenario". The outbreak, first reported on May 8, has already hit three separate geographical areas over a 37 mile spread, also increasing the likelihood that the fast-acting, highly contagious virus could spread quickly. Bikoro has a population of about 163,000 spread over an area of approximately 1,075 square kilometers (415 square miles).
"Community volunteers and groups are critical to stopping the spread of disease, especially in isolated areas, such as the epicentre of this current outbreak", said Dr Nafo-Traoré.
Health workers carry the body of a suspected Ebola victim for burial at a cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone, during the 2016 outbreak of the disease. In this case, the vaccine's deployment is meant to assist health-care workers in ending the outbreak long before it has the possibility of turning into an epidemic.
NAN reports that on May 30, 2017, the regulatory and ethics-review boards in the DRC approved the use of an experimental Ebola vaccine to combat. Salama said confusion surrounding possible links between the two outbreaks may be stem from nonspecific symptoms of the disease.
Ebola returns to Africa after 2014 outbreak claimed more than 11,000 lives, but in the USA funding cuts for Ebola response were announced this week.
Salama said that World Health Organization was preparing for the green light and hoped to have a mobile laboratory operational over the weekend, and that both World Health Organization and the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres already had a team on the ground. By this weekend, the first mobile lab at the outbreak site should be up and running, Salama said.
There have been several recorded outbreaks of Ebola since its discovery in the early 1970s - all but one have been small.
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. "This situation worries us and requires an immediate and energetic response". WHO said it was working with Kongo officials to scale operations in the region and to mobilize public health partners there.
The Wellcome funding will be made available to the DRC government and the World Health Organization as they seek to contain the outbreak's spread. "A standby ambulance with a driver and relevant protective gear has been provided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and is available twenty four-seven", Dr Mwebesa said in a press statement.
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