19 dead, 39 infected in Congo Ebola outbreak

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   TREATMENT Some 4,000 doses of the treatment have arrived in the capital Kinshasa

DS TREATMENT Some 4,000 doses of the treatment have arrived in the capital Kinshasa

The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees said the screening is a precautionary measure following reports of confirmed cases in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur province of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already", Tedros told reporters.

Vaccinations could begin by next Monday, he said.

Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on a two-visit to DRC, said the suspected new case was in Bikoro, at the centre of the latest Ebola outbreak in the country's northwest, where 18 people have died so far.

The vaccine was developed by the Canadian government and is now licensed to the USA -based Merck.

GETTY    
     DEADLY Ebola is highly infectious and can spread rapidly with high fatality rates
GETTY DEADLY Ebola is highly infectious and can spread rapidly with high fatality rates

393 people who identified as contacts of Ebola patients are being monitored, World Health Organization added in a statement.

While it is too early to determine the extent of this Ebola outbreak, the alarming fatality rate has heaped pressure on health officials to act quickly in order to prevent the disease spreading beyond its current 60-kilometre radius. It was tested in West - Africa in 2015 during an Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

"And the second thing is, associated with Ebola there is stigma. And if there is risk, my life is not better than anyone".

After meeting DRC President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa, the WHO chief praised the government's very strong leadership in responding to the health crisis and its good coordination with partners like Unicef and Doctors without Borders.

Information about the outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko and Wangata in Equateur province was still limited, the WHO said, but at present the outbreak does not meet the criteria for declaring a "public health event of worldwide concern", which would trigger the formation of an emergency WHO committee.

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