UN vows to tackle DR Congo rebels, contain Ebola

An electron micrograph scan shows the Ebola virus emerging from an infected cell

An electron micrograph scan shows the Ebola virus emerging from an infected cell

The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.November 7, 2018 / 4:30 PM GMTBy Maggie FoxHealth workers started vaccinating people in Uganda against Ebola virus on Wednesday, the first time the vaccine has been given in a country before an outbreak even starts.Officials are afraid the virus is going to spread across the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an outbreak is still worsening, fueled by armed conflict and frightened residents. This vaccine was also used in the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province in May-July 2018.

The World Health Organization and Ugandan Health Ministry are inoculating at least 2,100 workers, the ministry announced.

If worldwide Ebola containment efforts fail in the Congo, it would mark the first time the virus was not stopped since 1976, when Ebola was first identified.

In DRC till date, this season, around 300 cases of Ebola have been suspected with 265 confirmed cases of the disease. Indeed, this particular vaccine is now being administered in DRC and is demonstrating positive protective results and potency against the Ebola virus-Zaire type.

The strategy in Uganda involves an experimental vaccine, which officials say will not be given to the public. People who have been in contact with those persons are then also vaccinated. This approach worked to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s.Despite vaccination efforts, Ebola is still spreading in eastern Congo.

With high fatality rates ranging from 50 per cent to 89 per cent, the highly contagious Ebola virus could cause a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, generalised pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.

The spread of Ebola in the DRC is worsened by an ongoing civil war between militant groups and government forces.

For Congolese health workers, combating the virus has proved a challenge in a densely populated region that is roamed by armed groups.

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and Congo, and gets its name from a river in the latter nation. In 2000 and 2001, 574 people were infected and 261 died in Uganda.

In the worst Ebola epidemic to date, the disease struck the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013-15, killing more than 11,300 people.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.