Health professional filling syringe with Ebola vaccine | Reuters
Democratic Republic of Congo has started using the experimental mAb114 Ebola treatment to counter the latest flare-up of the virus, health officials said on Tuesday (August 14), the first time it has been deployed against an active outbreak.
Returning from a visit to the country, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva that medics were already treating five patients with mAb114 and that he had been informed they were doing well.
Separately, authorities have vaccinated over 200 health workers and contacts of Ebola patients. As of Monday (August 13), there have been 57 cases to date — 30 confirmed and 27 that are considered probable — with 41 deaths so far.
The response is taking place against the backdrop of insecurity caused by dozens of militia groups who regularly kill and kidnap civilians in the region.
Tedros said he had witnessed the challenges of working in a region beset by widespread militia violence with regular kidnappings and killings and he issued a call to the warring parties to cease hostilities.
Last week, UNICEF announced that it was transporting 90 tons of health, water, and sanitation supplies to the North Kivu and Ituri provinces including water purification tablets, chlorine and diarrhea kits.
Ebola, which causes fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, finds a natural home in Congo’s vast equatorial forests. Continuing flare-ups have made the central African country a testing ground for new treatments against a virus that between 2013 and 2016 killed over 11,300 in a West African epidemic. -Reuters
The last patient being treated for Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo was discharged on Tuesday (March 3), the World Health Organization (WHO) said, bringing the 19-month-old outbreak closer than ever to an end.
Masika Semida’s release from hospital in the eastern city of Beni, feted by hospital staff who sang, danced and drummed, marks the first time there has been no active cases since the outbreak was declared in August 2018.
In that period, the virus has killed 2,264 people and infected nearly 1,200 more, making it the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history. Only the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa was deadlier, killing more than 11,000.
Congo has now gone 14 days without any new confirmed cases. The outbreak can be declared over once 42 days have passed without a new case – equivalent to two cycles of 21 days, the maximum incubation period for the virus. (Reuters Connect)
China’s health authorities have announced that registration for clinical trials on a potential antiviral drug for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been approved.
The antiviral drug called “Remdesivir” will be made available to the more than 700 patients that tested positive of the 2019 nCoV in Wuhan City, China for its clinical trial.
Authorities said that aside from the 2019 nCoV, the drug can also be used to fight Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and even Ebola infection.
Remdesivir was developed by the American pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences.
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Health Commission, and the National Medical Products Administration support the approval of the said drug. —(details from Grace Casin) /mbmf
At least 161 people have been killed in a north-eastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo in the past week, with survivors who fled to safety saying on Monday (June 17) that people were killed and homes set of fire.
The violence is an apparent resurgence of ethnic clashes between farming and herding communities.
Survivors who spoke to Reuters said they had lost members of the families.
Ngorima Bakambu Godefroid, who fled from the village of Kpatsi-Solenyama said his sister-in-law and her five children were all killed.
Others said some people were burned alive inside houses, while others were killed with machetes
A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation, although the exact identity of the assailants remains murky.
Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo that left millions dead from conflict, hunger and disease. (REUTERS)
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