A new Ebola outbreak hits the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed one death in the Ebola outbreak in northern Congo and are looking into nine other suspected cases. Three people have died of fever. The region is close to the country's border with the neighboring Central African Republic (CAR). He said the confirmed case was of the Zaire strain of the virus.

On 9 May, WHO was informed of a cluster of undiagnosed illness and deaths, including haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province, some 1,300 kilometres (about 800 miles) from the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, and bordering the Central African Republic (CAR). DRC has no roads that span the country and long-distance travel largely is restricted to river boats and private airplanes.

At a meeting last month, the World Health Organization experts said the vaccine should be used when Ebola outbreaks occur, but under strict conditions, including a requirement that its recipients give their informed consent. "The outbreak is very small, so it may be stopped through containment only".

Among the 5,837 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. "It's hard to dream up a rationale for not using the vaccine as quickly as possible". The ministry said it should arrive on Saturday. A team of 10 people from the Ministry of Health will join them. A spokesperson did not know whether MSF had requested the vaccine for its team. The point is, that with better information on the Ebola virus in the great ape population, and better conservation protocols, as well as a vaccine that has proven to be beneficial in humans, we may actually be better prepared to deal with any further outbreaks. Of those who received the vaccine immediately, none developed the Ebola virus.

The organization underlined the importance of tracing people who had contact with confirmed victims to prevent the disease spreading.

Colleen Kraft, MD, associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory University, told CIDRAP News that the outbreak is behaving like outbreaks those that came before West Africa's massive event.

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