Congo reports three new Ebola cases days after new case was reported

CONGO – Three new Ebola cases have been confirmed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing the total to five in the last 10 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Health officials have said the latest flare-up of the virus appeared to be linked to the massive 2018-20 outbreak, which killed more than 2,200 people and infected more than 1,000 others. The first confirmed case was a young boy who died of the disease ten days ago. Three of the boy’s neighbors also died last month after experiencing…

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Congo instigates Ebola vaccinations after virus resurfaced

DR CONGO – The Democratic Republic of Congo has started administration of Ebola vaccines in North Kivu Province where a case of Ebola was confirmed on October 8th. People at high risk, including contacts of the confirmed case and first responders will receive the doses as the health authorities move to curb the spread of the virus. The confirmed case was a two-year old boy who died on 6 October in a local health facility. He lived in the same community where three members of the same family died in…

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DR Congo reports new Ebola case in recently declared Ebola hotspot, North Kivu

CONGO – The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo has announced that a new case of Ebola has been detected in the health zone of Butsili in North Kivu Province, where a previous outbreak was declared over 3 May 2021. The Goma branch of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) confirmed Ebola in samples taken from a young child who died after suffering from Ebola-like symptoms on 6 October. Butsili is close to Beni, a town which was one of the epicentres of the 2018–2020 Ebola…

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J&J Ebola vaccine shows promising results in latest study

USA – Johnson & Johnson has announced that its Ebola vaccine regimen has demonstrated remarkable antibody immune responses in adults and children, citing data published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. According to the report, the two-dose regimen was well-tolerated and induced antibody responses to the Zaire ebolavirus species, 21 days after the second dose in 98 per cent of all participants. The regimen, Zabdeno and Mvabea, generated immune responses that persisted in adults for at least two years. “These peer-reviewed data support the prophylactic use of the Johnson &…

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Sierra Leone rolls out Ebola vaccine boosters for high risk groups

SIERRA LEONE – Ebola booster dose vaccination has kicked off in Sierra Leone following administration of the prime dose of the Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine in May this year. Frontline health workers, practitioners of traditional medicines or traditional healers and commercial motor bike riders who received the first dose are now being given their second jab to maximize their protection against the disease. The target beneficiaries have been identified as high-risk groups and selected for preventive vaccination to protect them in the event there comes a cross border transmission…

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West Africa COVID-19 deaths surge amid Ebola, Marburg and Cholera outbreaks

CONGO – West Africa has recorded its highest number of COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began as several countries grapple with outbreaks of cholera, Ebola Virus Disease and Marburg Virus Disease that threaten to further strain the already stretched emergency response capacity in the region. COVID-19 fatalities in West Africa over the past four weeks increased by 193% from 348 in the previous four weeks to 1018 in the past week even though the case fatality ratio stands at 1.4%—below the continental average of 2.5%. While new cases in West…

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Cote D’Ivoire starts Ebola vaccination of frontline workers

COTE D’IVOIRE – Cote d’Ivoire has launched Ebola vaccination of high-risk populations, including health workers and first responders in Abidjan, where an Ebola outbreak was declared on 14 August. The country was able to swiftly begin the vaccination on 16 August with the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine manufactured by Merck as the vaccine doses that the World Health Organization (WHO) helped secure to fight a four-month long outbreak in Guinea were sent quickly by Guinea to Cote d’Ivoire. The vaccine deployment from Guinea included 2000 doses from Merck that are being…

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Ivory Coast reports first Ebola case in 25 years shortly after Guinea reported Marburg virus

COTE D’IVOIRE – Ebola has resurfaced in Ivory Coast for the first time in 25 years, health officials said, after an 18-year-old woman from neighboring Guinea tested positive for the hemorrhagic fever in the nation’s bustling commercial capital, Abidjan. It is the first Ebola case in a major West African city since 2016. It comes about two months after Guinea declared the end of an outbreak that killed 12 people this year in the country and as a third wave of the coronavirus pummels hospitals across the region. “It is…

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UAE suspends flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Namibia in bid to mitigate virus spread

AFRICA – The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) have announced the suspension of all inbound flights for national and international carriers coming from Liberia, Sierra Leon, and Namibia. The travel suspension which takes effect as from today includes inbound transit passengers with the exception of transit flights coming to the UAE and heading to these countries, the GCAA said. The GCAA indicated that it is required for those coming from Liberia, Sierra Leon, and Namibia through other countries that…

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WHO donates provisions in pledge to support epidemiologic preparedness in Liberia

LIBERIA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered a huge consignment of Infection Prevention Control (IPC) supplies and laboratory diagnostic kits to Liberia to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and improve preparedness to EVD. The supplies donated included diagnostic kits for COVID-19 and supplies for IPC in health facilities. This is a subsequent donation following lifesaving medicines and laboratory supplies for testing COVID-19 and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) donated to the government of Liberia by the WHO in March this year. The supplies included Praziquantel tablets to treat nearly…

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