Two Soldiers Killed by Ebola in DR Congo

Ebola personal protective equipment decontamination

Ebola personal protective equipment decontamination

Vaccination is one of a raft of preparedness measures South Sudan is putting into place.

As of January 27, 2019, the World Health Organization has reported a total of 733 cases and 459 deaths. So far, Kayina, a region near the populous city of Goma, already has five reported Ebola cases.

The latest Ebola epidemic in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second-largest outbreak on record.

She said South Sudan received 2,160 doses of the Ebola vaccine from Merck, the vaccine developer, as part of these preparedness activities.

WHO recently helped train 60 health workers in South Sudan to administer the yet-to-be-licensed Ebola vaccine.

The vaccination begun on Monday in South Sudan's Yambio town of Gbudue State but health workers in other high-risk areas such as Tombura, Yei, Nimule and Juba will also be vaccinated.

Since the outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on August 1, a total of 736 people have reported symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in the country's northeastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

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Some 54 people died following hemorrhagic fever, but it could not be verified whether they died of Ebola because they were buried without an autopsy.

It said the health ministry with the support of its partners has established 17 screening points to detect any travelers entering the country who may be infected with the virus. Almost 1 million people have been screened to date, majority of them e from DRC.

"Although research is ongoing, the evidence so far suggests the Ebola vaccine is a highly effective tool to help stop epidemics and can be used to prevent this national outbreak from becoming a regional one", said Dr Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi.

Uganda started vaccinating its health workers and front-line responders against Ebola in November. "The outbreak has also extended southwards to Kayina health zone, a high security risk area", WHO explained. What health workers do is to trace people who may have had contacted those with the disease in order to avoid spreading the disease to others.

South Sudan received 2,160 doses of the yet-to-be-licensed Ebola vaccine, which was developed by American pharmaceutical company Merck and protects against the Zaire strain of the virus that's now affecting the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda also plans to vaccinate its front-line responders. The epicenter of the outbreak is in North Kivu, an area of active conflict and political unrest.

To increase awareness amongst Americans, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) upgraded its Travel Alert rating to Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, regarding the Ebola outbreak in Africa, during October 2018.

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