Congo approves use of Ebola vaccination to fight outbreak

"The non-objection was given. Now there's a Medecins Sans Frontiers team that is arriving (in Congo) today to validate the protocol with the technical teams," a health ministry spokesman.

By: Reuters | Kinshasa | Updated: May 29, 2017 4:50 pm
FILE PHOTO: Health workers push a gurney with a dead body at a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone December 19, 2014. (Source: Reuters)

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry has approved the use of a new Ebola vaccine to counter an outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in its northeast that has killed four people, a spokesman said on Monday. “The non-objection was given. Now there’s a Medecins Sans Frontiers team that is arriving (in Congo) today to validate the protocol with the technical teams,” Jonathan Simba, a health ministry spokesman, said by telephone.

The vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV and developed by Merck , is not yet licensed but was shown to be highly protective against Ebola in clinical trials published last December.

As of Friday, Congo had registered 52 total suspected cases, including two that have been confirmed, the World Health Organization spokesman in Congo, Eugene Kabambi, said by telephone, adding that the situation appears to be under control. Simba said that the details of the vaccination campaign would be announced after a meeting of the health ministry and its partners set to take place on Monday or Tuesday.

A vaccination campaign would present logistical challenges in Congo’s isolated northeastern forests, including transporting and storing the vaccine in special containers at the required minus 80 degrees Celsius.

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  1. Andy Kadir-Buxton
    May 30, 2017 at 1:49 pm
    Many years ago there was an article in “New Scientist” magazine that said that flies avoided the dead bodies of other flies. I have used this fact several times over the years and find that it holds true. All you have to do is kill a few flies, cut their bodies into three, and put the body parts on window sills and at doors in order to avoid them flying in. A refugee camp once surrounded it's border with dead flies in order to avoid these disease carriers. My point is, this also works with mosquitoes, and is a free way of avoiding malaria, not only can property be protected in this way, but so can the individual when easily killed mosquito corpses are kept in pockets. If scientists could find the chemical given off by the dead body of a mosquito that repels others then we could have a an effective mosquito spray on our hands. (This will not work with wasps).