Ebola vaccine arrives in DR Congo amid outbreak

DR Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to city says WHO

The announcement came just as thousands of doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine arrived in the country, with vaccinations expected to commence this coming weekend.

Health officials have confirmed a case in the northwest city of Mbandaka, a busy river port located at the intersection of the Congo and Ruki rivers and with trade routes to the capital Kinshasa.

So far, the 23 deaths believed to have been caused by Democratic Republic of Congo's latest Ebola outbreak had been detected in more isolated areas, giving authorities a better chance of ring-fencing the virus.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo warned late on Wednesday that the nation's Ebola outbreak had entered a "new phase" after a case was discovered in the northwestern city of Mbandaka.

The vaccine, developed by Merck and sent from Europe by the World Health Organisation, is still not licensed but proved effective during limited trials in West Africa in the biggest ever outbreak of Ebola, which killed 11,300 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014-2016.

The WHO said the risk of the disease spreading was "high" and announced it was preparing for the "worst case scenario".

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This new case is linked with the epicenter of the epidemic in Equateur province, east of Lake Tumba, and it is in addition to the 42 people who have presented symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in Bikoro district-including two confirmed as Ebola, 20 probable, and 20 suspected cases.

She says two cases of Ebola are confirmed, 20 are probable and 20 are suspected. He said epidemiologists are working to identify additional contacts to the 500 already identified.

The WHO report said 1,500 sets of personal protective equipment and an emergency sanitary kit sufficient for 10,000 people for three months were being put in place.

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