World Health Organization sends first doses of experimental vaccine to tackle Congo Ebola outbreak


World Health Organization has reported 23 deaths among the 42 cases as medical teams try to contain the hemorrhagic fever. The vaccine will be reserved for people suspected of coming into contact with the disease, as well as health workers.

So far, the 23 deaths believed to have been caused by Democratic Republic of Congo's latest Ebola outbreak had been detected in more isolated areas, giving authorities a better chance of ring-fencing the virus.

The Senate also urged the Minister of Interior to take necessary steps to check immigration, just as it asked the Minister of Health to ensure alertness to combat whatever cases that might arise and get Ebola vaccines ready for an emergency.

A total of 250,000 US dollars has been set aside for outbreak response activities by the Africa CDC, and member countries have been pledging support by contributing health workers. The ministry reported 42 suspected cases of Ebola on May 15.

"We are entering a new phase of the Ebola outbreak that is now affecting three health zones, including an urban health zone", Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga said in a statement.

The experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective against Ebola.

Scientists fear it may be a "public-health emergency" after an Ebola pandemic killed at least 11,000 when it decimated West Africa between 2014 and 2016.

Moving the motion, Tinubu urged the Federal Government to take precautionary measures to prevent a recurrence of Ebola spread to the country. Congo's government authorized the use of the vaccine last week. As it stands, $1 billion of Congress' budget put aside to fight the 2015 Ebola outbreak is unlikely to be maintained after 2019 and President Donald Trump's most recent budget proposal has indicated funding reductions for foreign aid.

Patta reports that the epicenter of the disease is a small, remote town called Bikoro.

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

As of 13 May, there is a cumulative total of 41 cases, including 20 deaths (case fatality rate = 48.8%) and three healthcare workers from Bikoro (n=2) and Iboko (n=1).