By NewsDesk @bactiman63
In a follow-up on the latest Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) reports Ebola vaccination began today North Kivu Province.
People at high risk, including contacts of the confirmed case and first responders will receive the doses as the health authorities move to curb the spread of the virus.
The confirmed case was a two-year old boy who died on 6 October in a local health facility. He lived in the same community where three members of the same family died in September after experiencing Ebola-like symptoms.
About 1000 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine and other medical supplies were delivered from the capital Kinshasa to Goma city in North Kivu and around 200 doses were sent onward to Beni city, which is near the Butsili health area where the confirmed case was detected. Vaccinators are using the “ring vaccination” approach, where contacts and contacts of contacts are vaccinated. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has more than 12 000 vaccine doses in Kinshasa that can be deployed if necessary.
“Ebola is a virulent, lethal virus that can spread aggressively and fast. But vaccines can create a firewall of protection around cases, stopping the chain of transmission, averting a potentially large outbreak and saving many lives,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “The Democratic Republic of the Congo is spearheading the efforts to halt this latest Ebola resurgence, banking on expertise built in responding to previous outbreaks.”
In addition to organizing vaccination activities, emergency response teams are working around the clock to trace contacts, decontaminate infected spaces and step up surveillance and testing. Already, more than 170 contacts have been identified and teams are monitoring their health.