Experimental Ebola vaccine could be 'game-changer' in Congo outbreak

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) is convening an emergency meeting on Friday over the latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

World Health Organization says that of the 45 Ebola cases reported, 14 are confirmed, 21 are probable, and 10 are suspected.

With the 14 confirmed Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the health officials are working towards controlling the Ebola outbreak in the city which has over 1 million people.

These would be given as a priority to people in Mbandaka who had been in contact with those suspected of carrying the Ebola virus before people in any other affected area, Mr Salama said.

Only one of the 25 dead has been confirmed as Ebola, it said, adding that no new health professionals have been contaminated. DRC's health ministry late Thursday said the total number of cases is 45, including 10 suspected and 21 probable ones. That new death had epidemiological ties to another case.

Until now, the outbreak was confined to remote areas, where Ebola, which is spread by bodily fluids, travels more slowly.

"If you remember from the previous outbreak, it took a whole lot for the global community to understand it's a unsafe disease.Today it seems as if as soon as the first case was declared at least a lot of people are coming in to help", said Axelle Ronsse of the organisation.

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Motshegwa said following the outbreak of the deadly Ebola in the DRC, her ministry has put measures in place at points of entry.

The WHO has deployed doses of the experimental vaccine along with emergency teams and equipment Congo. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by.

The EU funding announced today will ensure deployment of relevant surge capacity to the affected areas, surveillance and contact tracing of Ebola victims as well as active case finding for early detection of those infected.

Those exposed will for the first time in Congo receive Ebola vaccinations, the health minister said.

The Ebola vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV - has been shown to be safe in humans and highly effective against the virus, according to the WHO. It was tested in Guinea during the outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa from 2014 to 2016.

This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo - it was named after the country's Ebola river. The virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

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