Health ministry rolls out Ebola vaccination in five prone districts

Uganda starts Ebola vaccination for high-risk health workers

WHO Director Will Visit Congolese Areas Affected by Ebola

Vaccinations of front line healthcare workers have begun in Uganda to stop an outbreak of the Ebola virus, officials said Wednesday.

186 total deaths have been reported.

At least some 3,000 frontline health workers in the five high-risk districts of Kabarole, Bunyangabo, Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Ntoroko, which border the DRC, are targeted.

Healthcare workers in Uganda have begun vaccinating high risk health workers against the deadly viral infection Ebola this week.

It will be the first time the vaccine is used in a country not in the midst of an active Ebola outbreak.

This precaution is being taken because the health care officials are anxious that the infection would spread into the country from the borders shared with Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Redfield, officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other experts say one of the biggest worries is the spread within Congo to places like Butembo, a major trading port and urban area, where the risk of widespread transmission escalates dramatically.

There are so far 239 confirmed cases in DRC in the latest flare-up, and 174 people have died from the disease. It's a war zone, with militant groups battling the government for control of various regions. More than 26,000 people in the DRC have been inoculated in a "ring vaccination" policy in which those who have been in contact with an Ebola patient are vaccinated. They say unofficial border crossings also are a cause for concern.

This particular vaccine is now being administered in DRC and is demonstrating positive protective results and potency against the Ebola virus-Zaire type.

For Congolese health workers, combating the virus has proved a challenge in a densely populated region that is roamed by armed groups. There are four experimental treatments being tried out in DRC: ZMapp, a cocktail of antibodies that fight the virus; a second cocktail of antibodies called REGN-EB3; a single-antibody drug called mAb114; and an antiviral drug called remdesivir.Supportive care, including replacing fluids and electrolytes lost to diarrhea and vomiting, can also help keep patients alive.This is the second outbreak of Ebola in Congo this year.

Ebola was first reported in Congo in 1976 and is named for the river where it was recognized. The worst outbreak was in Uganda in 2000 and 2001, when 574 people were infected and 261 died.

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