Vaccines arrive in DR Congo to fight Ebola outbreak

Vaccines arrive in DR Congo to fight Ebola outbreak

Two cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the latest outbreak in a remote northwestern part of Congo.

"The aim is for health officials to start using the vaccine, once it's shipped, by the end of the week, or next week if there are difficulties, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus..."

"The Senate is disturbed that recent reports of media outlets and the World Health Organisation show that the disease is back in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo with 19 dead and 39 casualties recorded so far".

It is "absolutely a dire scene in terms of infrastructure" as medical teams try to contain the outbreak in a region with poor water and sanitation, few paved roads and little electricity, he said.

The Chief Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye, however, pointed out that the disease, if spread to Nigeria, might have a devastating effect as workers in the country's public health institutions were on strike. The ministry reported 42 suspected cases of Ebola on May 15. However, the vaccine proved to be effective when it was tested.

"The senate recalls with great distress that an infected immigrant who arrived Nigeria on the 23rd of July was the index case of the ebola virus in Nigeria".

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Congo's health minister on Thursday announced the first death since the outbreak was declared early this week, though the hemorrhagic fever blamed for the death has not been confirmed as Ebola.

Patta also reports that a crucial difference between the two outbreaks is the speed at which worldwide agencies have responded.

"As if that was not enough, upon his return to Nigeria, instead of summoning an emergency meeting of critical stakeholders to find solution to the problem, Mr. President abandoned the striking health workers and chose to organize and attend a political rally in Jigawa State".

"This time, they've wasted no time", she said.

"Majority of the cases are in the health zone of Bikoro; others are reported in the health zones of Iboko and Wangata". Two brothers in Mbandaka who recently stayed in Bikoro for funerals are probable cases, with samples awaiting laboratory confirmation.

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