Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Uganda 'vaccinates' front-line health-workers against Ebola

Horsemen of the Apocalypse War and Ebola in Eastern Congo WHO Director Will Visit Congolese Areas Affected by Ebola
Melissa Porter | 09 November, 2018, 01:18

In 2015, the rVSV-Ebola vaccine was given to more than 16,000 volunteers involved in several studies in Africa, Europe and the United States where it was found to be safe and protective against the Ebola virus.

While the vaccine is not available for public use and is considered experimental, it's being handed out under a compassionate use program, the World Health Organization said.

Uganda shares a border with Congo, and both nations experience a robust movement of people between them as a result of trade and the region's high population.

It is expected that the World Health Organization delegation, also composed of the Deputy Secretary General of the UN Jean-Pierre Lacroix, will meet with the authorities in Kinshasa, the first to respond to the outbreak, and with the UN Office, its staff and its humanitarian partners.

More than 1 million people live in the affected districts of Beni, Mabalako, Oicha, and Mambasa, according to Care International.

In recent months Ebola cases have been confirmed near the heavily traveled border between Uganda and Congo, where 270 cases have been reported in the country's northeast since August.

The current Ebola outbreak is unfolding in an active war zone with several armed groups attacking health officials, government aids and civilians.

This precaution is being taken because the health care officials are anxious that the infection would spread into the country from the borders shared with Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ebola is a deadly viral infection that was first detected and identified in 1976.

"I do think this is one of the challenges we'll have to see, whether we're able to contain, control and end the current outbreak with the current security situation, or do we move into the idea that this becomes more of an endemic Ebola outbreak in this region, which we've never really confronted", Dr. Redfield told The Washington Post. There are four experimental treatments being tried out in DRC: ZMapp, a cocktail of antibodies that fight the virus; a second cocktail of antibodies called REGN-EB3; a single-antibody drug called mAb114; and an antiviral drug called remdesivir.Supportive care, including replacing fluids and electrolytes lost to diarrhea and vomiting, can also help keep patients alive.This is the second outbreak of Ebola in Congo this year. It can also spread through sexual contact.