Experimental vaccine arrives in Congo to combat new Ebola outbreak

KINSHASA, Congo — Thousands of doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine have arrived in Congo’s capital amid the latest outbreak of the deadly disease, the well being ministry mentioned Wednesday. The four,000 doses shall be despatched to the distant northwest the place two confirmed Ebola circumstances, 20 possible ones and 20 suspected ones have been reported, spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga mentioned. An further four,000 doses shall be deployed within the coming days with extra out there if wanted, the World Health Organization (WHO) mentioned. 

WHO has reported 23 deaths among the many 42 circumstances as medical groups attempt to comprise the hemorrhagic fever. Health specialists have recognized 500 contacts of the circumstances and they’re now being traced, Ilunga mentioned. 

“The most important thing is to stop the spread of the disease, and to that end, what they have to do is track down everybody — people who have contracted Ebola or even died from Ebola,” CBS News overseas correspondent Debora Patta stories.

WHO mentioned it’s going to use the “ring vaccination” technique, which entails vaccinating voluntary contacts, contacts of these contacts and well being care and different front-line employees. Health employees can be among the many first to obtain vaccinations, in keeping with Ilunga. 

Three nurses are among the many suspected circumstances, and one is among the many useless.  

A health worker is sprayed with chlorine after visiting the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital, which received a new suspected Ebola case, in Bikoro

A well being employee is sprayed with chlorine after visiting the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital, which acquired a brand new suspected Ebola case, in Bikoro, Democratic Republic of Congo May 12, 2018.

STRINGER/REUTERS

The experimental vaccine has been proven to be extremely efficient in opposition to Ebola. It was examined in Guinea in 2015 through the outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa from 2014 to 2016. 

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976. While none has been linked to the one in West Africa, the experimental vaccine is regarded as efficient in opposition to the Zaire pressure of Ebola present in Congo. 

CBS News’ Patta mentioned the very fact that there’s a vaccine marks a big distinction between the outbreak in West Africa that began in 2014 and the outbreak within the Congo right now.

“It can’t cure Ebola, but what it can do is stop the spread of the disease,” she mentioned.

Patta additionally stories essential distinction between the 2 outbreaks is the velocity at which worldwide businesses have responded.

“In 2014, you remember that the World Health Organization and other agencies were criticized for being ‘staggeringly slow’ to respond,” Patta mentioned. More than 11,000 individuals died earlier than the outbreak was contained.

“This time, they’ve wasted no time,” she mentioned. 

Patta stories that the epicenter of the illness is a small, distant city referred to as Bikoro. Congo’s well being ministry introduced the Ebola outbreak on May eight after two circumstances have been confirmed there. The Bikoro well being zone is about 150 kilometers — 93 miles — from Mbandaka and 45 kilometers from Ikoko Impenge, the place suspected circumstances have been reported.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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