Ebola virus disease - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki /FILE

The vaccine, developed by Merck in 2016, has proven safe and effective in human trials, but it is still experimental as it does not yet have a licence.

It's thought 4,000 doses will be sent to the remote north-western province of Equateur. Cases were reported from the Bikoro health zone (n=29; two confirmed, 20 probable and 7 suspected cases), Iboko health zone (n=8; three probable and five suspected cases) and Wangata health zone (n=2; two probable cases). "If a general can not be with its troops in the front line it's not a general", he said.

In an interview with The New Times on Monday, Dr. Diane Gashumba, the Minister for Health said no signs of Ebola have so far been detected on Rwandan soil and that the ministry is working with different stakeholders to ensure citizens are protected from the outbreak.

World Health Organization has released $1 million U.S. dollars from the contingency fund for emergencies, the United Nations has released $2 million USA dollars from the Central Emergency Response Funds, and the Welcome Trust has provided 2 million pounds sterling for critical research needs.

Transporting the vaccines to the affected area would be logistically challenging. He said Friday that the World Health Organization plans to send up to 40 experts by the weekend and clear an airstrip for supplies.

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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. On average, about 50% of people who become ill with Ebola die. An outbreak in 2014 killed 49 people.

Over 11,000 people died from the deadly virus in 2014 when it hit West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Cases near a major city are a concern, as is the outbreak's location.

Vivian Nakaliika, Uganda's ministry of health spokesperson, told Xinhua that the results of samples taken from a male passenger travelling from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) en route to Kenya have tested negative of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever. According to a draft internal document obtained by the Associated Press, almost everyone "failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall".

Symptoms of Ebola usually manifest 8 to 10 days after exposure. If the disease is not treated, the symptoms will escalate to vomiting, diarrhea, and external or internal bleeding.

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