ibusinesslines.com December 09, 2018

Uganda's Ebola vaccination for high-risk health workers postponed to Wednesday

09 November 2018, 02:14 | Melissa Porter

Ebola: 300 People Infected In Eastern DR Congo

Ebola death toll rises in the DRC

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.

186 total deaths have been reported.

"On top of close contacts of Ebola victims, frontline health workers face a very high risk of infection of Ebola as they care for patients, " Woldemariam said.

Contact tracing is still of concern due to insecurity and persistent community resistance. 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 current outbreak is entering its fourth month, with almost 300 cases, including 186 deaths.

The ongoing Uganda vaccinations targeting frontline health workers will be carried out in five districts along the border with Congo.

If that happens, it would be the first time since the deadly viral disease was first identified in 1976 that an Ebola outbreak leads to persistent presence of disease.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there is not enough valid research to risk the health of pregnant women nor their future child with the investigational vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV.

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

There are so far 239 confirmed cases in DRC in the latest flare-up, and 174 people have died from the disease. This is called the "ring vaccination strategy" and is an effective method of eradicating highly contagious infectious diseases, say the officials.

In Congo, where thousands of people have been given the experimental Ebola vaccine, a worrying number of vaccinated health workers have been infected.

This preventive exercise has begun in the Ntoroko district which is located in central Africa.

By comparison, the entire population of Liberia, one of the hardest hit countries during the West Africa Ebola epidemic of 2014 - 2016, is about 4.8 million. There are some experimental antibody based therapies that are being tried in treating the disease.

The vaccine is only used under "compassionate use" although it is not commercially licensed.

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