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Congo begins Ebola vaccination in east after new case reported

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Aug 26, 2022 - 08:53 AM

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Ebola vaccination began Thursday in Beni in the Congo, where a new case was confirmed earlier this week, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Congolese health officials.

Congolese authorities confirmed an outbreak Monday with the new case in North Kivu province, months after the last outbreak ended in July.

“Just three days after the declaration of the Ebola epidemic in North Kivu, the vaccination campaign started at the general reference hospital of Beni. The objective is to protect the 1st line agents who will in turn vaccinate the contacts,” the WHO country office said in a statement.

More than 179 patients have been identified since the beginning of the recent resurgence of Ebola in North Kivu, according to the WHO, adding that it provided 200 doses of Ervebo Ebola vaccines and it is supporting efforts to vaccinate those at high risk.

The new case involved a woman who died Aug. 15 after being admitted to a hospital in Beni on July 23, according to the country’s National Institute for Biomedical Research.

Testing showed the case was genetically linked to the 2018-2020 outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

Noting that no new confirmed cases have been reported after that of the deceased, the WHO said it is working with health authorities in Beni to strengthen surveillance and contact tracing.

The most recent 14th outbreak in the Mbandaka in northwestern Equateur province was declared over in July after five deaths were reported.

Nearly 2,300 people were killed from 2018 to 2020 in the deadliest outbreak of the virus in Congo, the second highest death toll in the history of the hemorrhagic fever.​​​​​​​

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