In Congo, Ebola outbreak and war spread fear to neighboring nations

WHO Director Will Visit Congolese Areas Affected by Ebola

The drug targets the Zaire virus species, the most "vicious of the Ebola types", Woldemariam said.

Uganda has started vaccinating health workers against Ebola in a border district near the outbreak in Congo.

A World Health Organization assessment of the situation in DRC released on 22 October, warned of the potential for the virus to spread into Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi, as well as Uganda, and called on these countries to step up readiness efforts.

In vaccinating frontline health workers against EVD even before Uganda detects a single case explains that health authorities are being cautious having learnt bitter lessons from previous outbreaks.

World Health Organization in a statement said the vaccine is being administered in DRC and has been proven to demonstrate positive protective results.

This preventive exercise has begun in the Ntoroko district which is located in central Africa.

The deteriorating security situation in the DRC has complicated efforts to get the Ebola outbreak under control: across the country, local populations and humanitarian workers assisting them have come under attacks by armed groups, necessitating the deployment of a large United Nations peacekeeping mission.

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This Merck vaccine candidate rVSV-Ebola was also used in the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province in May-July 2018.

Although several studies have shown that the vaccine is safe and protective against the Ebola virus, more scientific research is needed before it can be licensed.

Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda's health minister, told reporters on Friday that with WHO's support, the east African country has procured over 2,100 of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccines, and supplementary doses have been requested.

In December 2000, Lukwiya, a medical superintendent of Lacor Hospital in the northern district of Gulu, died along with 12 nurses after contracting the highly contagious disease, which is transmitted through contact with body fluids. "Therefore, the vaccine is not available to the general population at this stage. This is targeted vaccination", Aceng emphasized.

Anthony Mbonye, a professor of health sciences at Uganda's Makerere University, said the vaccinations are crucial to stemming transmission "in a highly endemic belt for hemorrhagic fevers".

He assured of its potency and ability to protect them effectively.

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