Child victims of DR Congo Ebola outbreak need 'special care'

The current Ebola outbreak was first reported on August 1

The current Ebola outbreak was first reported on August 1

Since August 1, the Ministry of Health has declared the outbreak in the locality of Mangina in Beni territory.

mAb114 is an antibody initially isolated from a survivor of an Ebola outbreak in the western DRC city of Kikwit in 1995, it added.

Insecurity linked to armed conflicts and violence coincides with the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the region. Already recorded 78 cases, 51 of which are confirmed and 27 others are under question. Among all infected already killed 44 people. Health officials are still investigating 24 suspected cases, down from about 40 reported earlier in the week.

Congolese authorities reported "two deaths of confirmed cases at Beni" - a trading town with a population approaching a quarter of a million people in North Kivu province. The WHO, which is helping four priority countries step up their preparedness efforts, said Ebola was also ruled out after investigating suspected cases in other DRC provinces, Rwanda, and the Central African Republic, as well.

Targeted vaccination, aimed primarily at front-line health workers, began last week, and so far 216 people have received a jab.

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The cases treated as "probable" often concern diseased people who had a close epidemiological link with confirmed cases, but have not been tested.

At least 1,500 people have been potentially exposed to the deadly virus in North Kivu province but violence in the region means officials can not be sure if they have identified all the chains by which it is spreading in the east of the vast country.

The WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) working group on Ebola vaccines issued an interim recommendation, which said, "Should an Ebola disease outbreak occur before the candidate vaccine is licensed, SAGE recommended that the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine be promptly deployed under the Expanded Access framework, with informed consent and in compliance with Good Clinical Practice".

In yesterday's update, the DRC said its health minister, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, MD, PhD, on Aug 15 met with United States embassy official Jennifer Haskell, CDC Director Redfield, and the CDC's DRC representative, Raimi Ewetola, MD, DrPH, MPH.

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