CDC: Ebola outbreak may be beyond control

Pearl Mccarthy
November 9, 2018

Uganda is vaccinating against the Ebola virus spreading in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the outbreak fueled by conflict has left at least 189 people dead. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.November 7, 2018 / 4:30 PM GMTBy Maggie FoxHealth workers started vaccinating people in Uganda against Ebola virus on Wednesday, the first time the vaccine has been given in a country before an outbreak even starts.Officials are afraid the virus is going to spread across the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an outbreak is still worsening, fueled by armed conflict and frightened residents.

Ebola broke out in Eastern DRC province in August this year and it has since killed about 200 people according to World Health Organization report and it reportedly continues to spread to areas close to Uganda.

The ministry of health has said teams responding to the Ebola outbreak are attacked three or four times a week on average - a level of violence unseen in the country's nine previous outbreaks of the virus.

Concerns that an undiagnosed Ebola patient may arrive at a health facility seeking treatment led to the decision to vaccinate health care workers at the highest risk of contracting the highly-infectious hemorrhagic fever, in 40 facilities near the border.

In mid-October, the World Health Organization said it was "deeply concerned" by the outbreak, but the situation did not yet warrant being declared a global emergency.

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"As a neighbour to the DRC, Uganda is on high alert due to the high risk of the Ebola threat", Dr Aceng said on Friday. The problem is that the security environment has worsened."He added that the continuing actions of armed groups "calls for a stronger closely coordinated response, and we are working in a very coordinated manner with the Congolese security forces, but the adversary is a more hard adversary that knows the ground that is blending into the population".

The rVSV-Ebola vaccine is now being administered in DRC and is demonstrating positive protective results and potency against the Ebola virus-Zaire type.

It will be the first time the vaccine is used in a country not in the midst of an active Ebola outbreak. The conflict slows healthcare workers' attempts to fight the virus.

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and Congo, and gets its name from a river in the latter nation. The individuals in DRC who have been in contact with an Ebola patient have been vaccinated and those in contact with these contacts have also been vaccinated.

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