Congo to start Ebola vaccinations amid new outbreak


The outbreak is spreading through five health zones in North Kivu province and one health zone in Ituri province, which poses geographic and political challenges, the WHO said.

Another Ebola outbreak is declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a mere week after the previous one was announced to be over.

An experimental Ebola vaccine will get a chance to prove itself again this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The vaccination campaign will target health care providers, contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts, said Barthe Ndjoloko Tambwe, director of the Ebola response in Beni.

In this way, immunization will begin tomorrow and is aimed at front-line medical personnel, people who have had contact with confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the "deterioration of the security situation" in affected area was expected to hinder the response to the outbreak.

According to a report from the Ministry of Health in addition to the deceased, three patients with the disease were confirmed, which can cause up to 90 percent of lethality.

Although they were anxious then that the virus might have traveled to other regions because of its close proximity to the Congo river, there is no evidence yet suggesting that the new outbreak is related to the former outbreak in Bikoro. Investigations are ongoing, but as of August 3, a total of 43 Ebola virus cases, including 33 deaths, have been reported, and another 33 suspected cases are pending lab testing. Still, thousands of doses remain in the country's capital, Kinshasa. There also is frequent cross-border trade with Uganda, which could complicate containment of the disease. This is its tenth outbreak of the virus.

Complications surround the fact that the new outbreak is in North Kivu province, a region where over 100 armed groups are believed to operate.

That outbreak was about 2,500 km (1,553 miles) from the current outbreak.