Congo's health ministry confirms 3 more cases of Ebola

Congo's health ministry confirms 3 more cases of Ebola

The experimental vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck, proved successful during its first wide-scale usage against the previous outbreak in Equateur Province.

"The goal of this communication is therefore to request you to enhance your surveillance systems and preparedness and have a high index of suspicion for Ebola, urgently report any alerts to Public Health Emergency Operation Centre on Toll free phone line 0800203033 and/ or Ministry of Health on 0800100066", Dr. Mwebesa noted.

The vaccination campaign will target health care providers, contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts, said Barthe Ndjoloko Tambwe, director of the Ebola response in Beni.

Health experts have identified at least 966 contacts who are now under surveillance.

The unsafe burial of a 65-year-old Ebola sufferer triggered the latest outbreak in the DRC, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Although they were anxious then that the virus might have traveled to other regions because of its close proximity to the Congo river, there is no evidence yet suggesting that the new outbreak is related to the former outbreak in Bikoro.

"In total, 43 cases of haemorrhagic fever have been reported in the region, including 16 confirmed and 27 probable, and 31 suspected cases are under investigation", the ministry said. Of the three healthcare workers who were affected, one has died. Individuals frequently cross the border for trade, which, combined with humanitarian and security issues in the region, could make the outbreak harder to contain.

There was a concern it would spread to Kinshasa - 364 miles (586km) south on the river, which has an global airport and 12 million people residents.

North Kivu province now hosts more than 1 million displaced people and sees major cross-border movement due to trade with Rwanda and Uganda.

Local authorities announced on Tuesday that 14 bodies had been discovered in the town of Tubameme, about 40 km (25 miles) northeast of the epicenter of the outbreak in the town of Mangina.

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