Congo's Ebola outbreak may not be containable, CDC director says

Congo's Ebola outbreak may not be containable, CDC director says

"It is highly likely that Uganda may import Ebola virus disease from DRC given the closeness of the current epicenter, the high population movements due to trade, social-cultural connections and easy accessibility of health services in Uganda", the WHO said.

Robert Redfield, MD, director for the CDC, said November 5 that if the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak becomes more serious, worldwide public health experts should consider the possibility it can't be brought under control, according to The Washington Post.

A World Health Organization assessment of the situation in DRC released on 22 October, warned of the potential for the virus to spread into Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi, as well as Uganda, and called on these countries to step up readiness efforts.

Health workers are usually among the first to be infected in an Ebola outbreak.

No Ebola cases have been reported in Uganda, but the World Health Organization said communities on the DRC-Uganda border will likely be infected soon.

This preventive exercise has begun in the Ntoroko district which is located in central Africa.

DRC is facing its 10th Ebola outbreak, but this epidemic, which broke out in August, is the country's first in an area where fighting is ongoing.

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Uganda's Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng believes that administration of the vaccine to health care operatives has been the missing link in the country's EVD preparation and readiness efforts.

Although several studies have shown that the vaccine is safe and protective against the Ebola virus, more scientific research is needed before it can be licensed.

It said the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces and neighboring countries remains high.

The vaccine is only used under "compassionate use" although it is not commercially licensed.

"Therefore, the rVSV-Ebola vaccine is not available to the general population at this stage".

"On top of close contacts of Ebola victims, frontline health workers face a very high risk of infection of Ebola as they care for patients, " Woldemariam said.

This is called the "ring vaccination strategy" and is an effective method of eradicating highly contagious infectious diseases, say the officials. He assured them about its potency and ability to protect them effectively.

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