Ebola vaccinations in eastern Congo due to begin on Wednesday

Eastern Congo Ebola outbreak has killed 33: Health ministry

Eastern Congo Ebola outbreak has killed 33: Health ministry

Health officials announced the outbreak Wednesday, about a week after the government of Congo declared another Ebola outbreak in Equateur province had been contained.

Following the declaration of an outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), a haemorrhagic fever in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the health ministry in Uganda has asked health workers to intensify their surveillance against the deadly disease.

Giving the latest figures on the epidemic, which was declared just days after an outbreak in northwestern Congo 2,500 miles away was declared over, the ministry said of the 43 suspected cases, 16 were now confirmed. Health authorities say they have no evidence the two are connected.

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Nearly 1000 people who have had "contact" with the virus have been registered in health zones under surveillance, it said. Tracking those contacts, however, could be hard in this part of the country, given its dense population and the presence of dozens of militia groups.

Health workers are in the process of setting up a so-called cold chain, the series of measures needed to keep the vaccine well below zero in a tropical climate without reliable power supplies, the ministry said.

The vaccination campaign will target healthcare providers, contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts, said Barthe Ndjoloko Tambwe, director of the Ebola response in Beni.

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