Ebola: Medical workers in Congo finish vaccination

Ebola: Medical workers in Congo finish vaccination

Medical providers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have finished administering an experimental vaccine to all immediate contacts of Ebola patients in the city of Mbandaka to hinder the disease outbreak - which has killed roughly 25 people, The New York Times reports.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the ministry announced on May 8 that there were confirmed cases of Ebola in the country.

Over 1,100 people have been vaccinated against Ebola hemorrhagic fever in a western province of Democratic Republic of Congo since May 21, officials said Monday.

Two more people have died of Ebola in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing the toll to 27 in almost a month, the health ministry said on Wednesday, June 6.

"Protecting human rights is key to responding to the Ebola outbreak", said Diederik Lohman, health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch.

The latest data from the health ministry shows 53 cases of Ebola in the outbreak, including 37 confirmed, 13 probable and three suspected cases.

Most of the Ebola cases are in the country's remote Bikoro health zone, which lacks the healthcare infrastructure to tackle the spread of Ebola.

The current outbreak - the 9th to hit the DRC since Ebola was identified in 1976 - involves the same strain of the virus that struck the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013-15, killing more than 11,300 people.

The WHO said on Friday that it was cautiously optimistic about the progress of the response yet Mbandaka's location directly upstream the Congo River of the capital Kinshasa, a city of more than 10 million people, remains a concern.

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