Ebola Erupts Again in Africa, Only Now There's a Vaccine

Cheryl Sanders
May 12, 2018

On Friday, the World Health Organization announced it is preparing for "the worst case scenario" in the new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a statement, which was released on May 10, the World Health Organization revealed that from April 9 to May 9, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has 32 potential cases of the disease, which include 18 deaths.

Seven patients are hospitalized in the town of Bikoro in Equateur province, including the two who tested positive for the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus and confirmed the outbreak, while four are in a nearby health center, Ilunga says.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the virus was isolated there in 1976.

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If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, the CDC says to make sure to avoid endemic areas.

NAN reports that on May 30, 2017, the regulatory and ethics-review boards in the DRC approved the use of an experimental Ebola vaccine to combat. It also said it knew of three sick people in Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province, where it is sending experts to investigate.

While the risk of the latest outbreak spreading into other countries is low, nine nearby countries have been put on high alert, Salama said. "WHO will work closely with health authorities and partners to support the national response".

However, research by Kent University suggests a drive to vaccinate the entire population wouldn't be an effective way of stopping the disease spread.

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As Reuters notes, "Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats, which can host the virus without dying, as they infect other animals with which they share trees, such as monkeys". Vaccinations cost $15-$20 per dose and 462 million people live in regions impacted by Ebola outbreaks.

"We have strengthened the routine screening of travellers at JKIA and as well as all the entry points into the country totaling 43, in all these places", the CS said.

"We have mobilized volunteers and staff who have previous experience in fighting Ebola to work with the affected communities to prevent further spread of the disease", said Grégoire Mateso, President of the DRC Red Cross. We probably won't know for sure what went wrong in this outbreak, but blame has been placed on the slow response of the global community, the fragility of the region's health services, and the failure of public health campaigns to reach all people.

Ebola viruses are a group of particularly nasty viruses that have a significant burden across Africa.

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