KINSHASA, Congo – Thousands of doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine have arrived in the Congolese capital, during theannounced the Ministry of Health on Wednesday. The 4,000 doses are sent to the remote northwest, where two confirmed cases of Ebola, 20 likely and 20 suspects, were reported, said spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga. A further 4,000 doses will be made available in the coming days, with more available if needed, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
The WHO has reported 23 deaths among the 42 cases as medical teams try to stem the hemorrhagic fever. Health experts have identified 500 contacts of cases, and they are now being prosecuted, Ilunga said.
"The most important thing is to stop the spread of the disease, and to do that they must track down everyone ̵
Three nurses are among the suspected cases, and one belongs to the dead.
The experimental vaccine proved to be very effective against Ebola. It was tested in Guinea in 2015 during the outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016.
This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in the Congo since 1976. Although none was affiliated with that in West Africa, the experimental vaccine is said to be effective against the Zaire strain of Ebola found in the Congo.
CBS News & # 39; Patta said that the fact that there is a vaccine represents a significant difference between the 2014 eruption in West Africa and the Congo eruption today.
"It can not cure Ebola, but it can stop the spread of the disease," she said.
Patta also reports that one crucial difference between the two outbreaks is the speed with which international agencies have responded.
"In 2014, you remember that The World Health Organization and other agencies have been criticized for having been" incredibly slow-moving, "Patta said, killing more than 11,000 people before the outbreak was halted.
They did not waste time this time, "she said.
Patta reports that the epicenter of the disease is a small, remote town called Bikoro, and the Congolese Ministry of Health announced the Ebola outbreak on May 8 after two cases The Bikoro Health Zone is approximately 150 kilometers – 93 miles – from Mbandaka and 45 kilometers from Ikoko Impenge, where suspected cases have been reported.
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