Congo Begins Ebola Vaccinations Around Outbreak Area

Death of Ebola Patients who Fled DRC Hospital Highlights Dangers

Death of Ebola Patients who Fled DRC Hospital Highlights Dangers

Congo's Health Minister Oly Ilunga traveled to oversee the Ebola vaccinations of at least 10 people in Bikoro, where at least five of 12 Ebola deaths have happened. Health workers hope to vaccinate every contact to effectively ringfence each Ebola patient and prevent further spread. Several hundred people who have come into contact with infected persons are now being monitored by health authorities.

So the country's health ministry and its worldwide partners, such as the WHO and Oxfam, are conducting awareness campaigns by organizing community dialogues and going door-to-door to advise people on what hygiene precautions to take in times of outbreaks.

UNICEF staffer Jean Claude Nzengu, center, talks with members of an Ebola vaccination team as they prepare to administer the vaccine in an Ebola-affected community in the north-western city of Mbandaka, in Congo, Friday, May 25. Four confirmed Ebola deaths have taken place in the Iboko health zone, according to Congo's health ministry.

The World Health Organization said it was assuming 100-300 cases of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo over a three-month timeline, under a revised strategic response plan it published on Tuesday.

The sheer number of people in populated epicenters with separate cases of Ebola has in fact, infected health workers and this makes it very hard to monitor the contacts of infected people in these regions.

"We who are on the front lines of caring for the sick".

Measures are also in place to protect the mental well-being of youngsters, Mr Boulierac continued, adding that other Ebola outbreaks had "demonstrated the need for social workers to identify and assist vulnerable children". Right now, six-hundred contacts have been identified.

The EpiShuttle single-patient units have been developed in Norway and make it possible to transport infected people to isolation wards safely, while giving them treatment on the way.

The case fatality ratio for all confirmed cases admitted into Ebola treatment centres should be less than 50 percent, it said.

"At the moment, World Health Organization uses the "ring vaccination" approach" to vaccinate people who came in contact with the ones infected or who are suspected to be infected and those who were in contact with the suspected. Symptoms of Ebola include vomiting, fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, and external or internal bleeding.

When Ebola hit the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013 and 2014, killing more than 11,000 people, suspicion of health workers in their spacesuit-like protective gear also prompted patients to flee, helping accelerate the disease's spread.

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