Three thousand doses of the Ebola vaccine are being sent from Kinshasa, the capital, and will be used first in the Mabalako health zone and in the nearby city of Beni, which has a population of more than 680,000.
“Around 40 health workers are expected to be vaccinated today; by end of the week, once all the necessary steps are in place, vaccination of community contacts and their contacts will commence,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.
The DRC’s Ministry of Health has declared another outbreak of Ebola in the eastern region of the country.
The epidemic was spreading around the city of Beni, in North Kivu province, just one week after the previous outbreak was declared over in the northwest part of the country, which killed 33 people.
“Just a week after announcing the end of the ninth epidemic of Ebola virus disease in the Equator province, the DRC is facing a new epidemic," Kalenga said.
The first reported case of Ebola occurred in the DRC in 1976 in an outbreak that killed at least 280 people.
One of the deadliest viruses known to man, Ebola is spread through direct contact, and it can also be transmitted through sexual contact or unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.
There is no specific treatment for Ebola, which is spread through the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms./.