DR Congo starts Ebola vaccination campaign

·1-min read

After a new case of the deadly Ebola virus was detected in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, health authorities have launched a vaccination campaign.

About 1000 vaccine doses were delivered to the eastern province, where the case was reported on Saturday, the World Health Organisation announced.

This was the first confirmed Ebola case since a recent outbreak in North Kivu was officially declared over in May.

The young child with the virus died on Wednesday after developing Ebola-like symptoms shortly beforehand.

The case occurred near the town of Beni, a commercial hub with close links to neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda.

Merck's rVSV-ZEBOV shot is being used to target the victim's contacts and contacts of contacts in what is called a "ring vaccination" approach, the WHO said.

The vaccine has revolutionised the fight against the hemorrhagic fever, which typically kills about half of those it infects.

Beni has had Ebola cases before, most recently a prolonged outbreak between 2018 and 2020, according to the WHO.

During the two-year outbreak, a total of nearly 3500 cases were detected from which 2299 people died.

It is not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following a major outbreak but it is too early to say whether this case is related to the previous clusters.

Ebola infections usually lead to high fever and internal bleeding and are often fatal.

In 2014 and 2015, the largest outbreak of the disease occurred in west Africa and resulted in more than 11,000 deaths.

with Reuters

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