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Ebola in DRC: "significant reduction" in cases of contamination, authorities say


Ebola in DRC: "significant reduction" in cases of contamination, authorities say

Goma (DR Congo) (AFP)

A significant reduction in cases of contamination with Ebola virus disease has been observed in recent weeks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been battling an outbreak of this haemorrhagic fever for more than a year, health authorities said Thursday.

"In recent weeks there has been a noticeable reduction in cases from 100 a week in July to around the twenties," said Steve Ahuka, general coordinator of the response to the outbreak. Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

In this context, the province of South Kivu and the health zone of Tchomia in North Kivu are respectively 63 and 402 days without notification of case, said the Ministry of Health in the same statement.

"The decline in the number of cases is not the end of the epidemic, but efforts need to be strengthened to stop the transmission of Ebola by reducing the time between the onset of signs and treatment," the ministry said. .

It is now a question of "thinking about how to have zero cases, so stop the transmission", added Professor Ahuka.

The Congolese health authorities evaluate since Tuesday their strategy and funds allocated to the fight against the Ebola outbreak declared on August 1, 2018 and which affects three provinces: North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Since then, 2,182 deaths have been recorded out of 3,269 cases.

The Ministry of Health has endorsed the strategy to "immunize as many people as possible" with the introduction of a second vaccine.

Initially announced for November 1, the date of the start of this vaccination was not confirmed Thursday.

This molecule "will be given in areas not infected with EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) in order to create a large number of people protected from this disease, so that in the event of a possible outbreak, it can not to crack down, "said Professor Ahuka.

"This second vaccine will be given to all volunteers and eligible in the regions where these vaccinations will be organized," says the Ministry of Health.

The Ebola epidemic is the tenth on Congolese soil since 1976 and the second worst in history after that of 2014 in West Africa.

Since this terrible epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people, an experimental vaccine has been developed by Merck Sharp and Dohme and is used in infected areas of the DRC. At this stage, 245,085 people were vaccinated.

The second experimental vaccine is manufactured by the Belgian subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

© 2019 AFP

Source: france24

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