World Health Organization develops experimental Ebola vaccine

FAAN assures of preparedness

The Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo deployed Rapid Response Teams to investigate cases and deaths reported in Bikoro health zone in the Equateur province.

The WHO has also established its Incident Management System that would help build a workforce centered on helping out with the current EVD outbreak.

The worst-ever Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in southern Guinea before spreading to two neighbouring west African countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 11,300 people out of almost 29,000 registered cases.

Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from an infected cell.

(This version of the story corrects paragraph two to show death was suspected to be Ebola, but was not confirmed).

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He said the possibility of global spread of the disease was still considered "low", but that the situation was constantly being evaluated.

"If it was only the roads, we know that the roads are very bad and that it's hard for people to travel".

The outbreak area is 15 hours by motorbike from the closest town and has "absolutely dire" infrastructure, Salama said, so the World Health Organization wants to send in 20-40 experts by helicopter this weekend and then clear an airstrip for more supplies. The cases so far have been on a lake port, which means it's possible an infected person could have traveled to a larger city. They are using the same approach taken during a successful response to an EVD outbreak previous year.

According to a study, Ebola outbreak can be controlled only through isolation of patients and surveillance on the disease.

"At the moment, there is an experienced MSF team in Bikoro, made up of medics, water and sanitation experts, health promoters, logisticians, and an epidemiologist", Julien Raickman, MSF head of the mission in the DRC, said in the statement. Fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks, with an average fatality rate around 50%.

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The virus which is transmitted by bats was first discovered in DRC in 1976 and named after the Ebola river. Symptoms usually begin with fever, weakness, soreness, and headache.

Ebola caused global alarm in 2014 when the world's worst outbreak began in West Africa, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

At the same time, Salama insisted that "the Ebola vaccine is not a magic bullet".

WHO Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response Dr. Peter Salama adds that they are also prioritizing the minimization of casualties.

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