World Health Organization gets Congo's go-ahead to launch Ebola vaccination experiment

EBOLA OUTBREAK 19 deaths confirmed 39 suspected cases reported in DRC WHO says

The WHO said earlier on Monday that the Democratic Republic of Congo had reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between April 4 and May 13, including 19 deaths.

"We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already", Tedros told reporters. "So I think we can all be prepared", he said. "All is ready now to really use it".

The Ebola-hit Bikoro, Iboko, and Wangata health zones are located in the Equateur province.

As of May 13, Congo has 39 suspected, probable and confirmed cases of Ebola since April, including 19 deaths, World Health Organization reported.

"Furthermore, the ministry is working with health authorities in other urban centres near Mbandaka, including Kinshasa and Kisangani, to prepare contingency plans in these cities as well", Ilunga said. "The remaining 12 cases are suspected..."

The outbreak of the disease is the ninth in the central African nation since it was first discovered in the east of the country four decades ago.

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The CDC advised people to avoid non-essential travel to the DR Congo, saying if they must travel, they should avoid coming into contact with living or dead wild animals, eating wild animal meat and visiting Ebola patients. The last outbreak that was announced a year ago, was contained and declared over by July 2017.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola, which is spread through the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms.

The vaccine was developed by the Canadian government and is now licensed to the USA -based Merck. It was tested in Guinea in 2015. Merck has given its permission for the vaccine to be used in this outbreak.

"Majority of the cases are in the health zone of Bikoro; others are reported in the health zones of Iboko and Wangata", Ilunga said.

WHO is working with Congo's government and other worldwide organizations, including Medecins Sans Frontieres, to strengthen coordination to fight and contain the Ebola outbreak.

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