By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In an update on the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), no new cases were reported during the week May 20-26.

Since the resurgence of the outbreak on 10 April 2020, seven confirmed cases have been reported from Kasanga, Malepe and Kanzulinzuli Health Areas in Beni Health Zone. Investigations into the origin of the last cluster of cases in Beni Health Zone are ongoing. To date, no definitive source of infection has been identified.

Last week, two historic probable cases reported in Mabalako and Lubero Health Zones were validated from people who had onset of symptoms in March 2019 and July 2019.

Since August 2018, a total of 3463 EVD cases and 2280 deaths have been recorded in the second largest outbreak since 1976.

On Friday, The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended granting a marketing authorization in the European Union for a new Ebola vaccine that provides active immunization to prevent Ebola virus disease (Zaire ebolavirus species) in individuals aged 1 year and older.

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The recommendation to grant a marketing authorization for the new vaccine follows the approval of the first Ebola vaccine in November 2019. The new Ebola vaccine consists of two components, Zabdeno (Ad26.ZEBOV) and Mvabea (MVA-BN-Filo). Zabdeno is given first and Mvabea is administered approximately eight weeks later as a booster.

This prophylactic 2-dose regimen is therefore not suitable for an outbreak response where immediate protection is necessary. As a precautionary measure, a Zabdeno booster vaccination should be considered for individuals at imminent risk of exposure to Ebola virus, for example healthcare professionals and those living in or visiting areas with an ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak, who completed the Zabdeno, Mvabea 2-dose primary vaccination regimen more than four months ago.