The recent Ebola outbreak in Congo is the second-largest one in the history of the country, and it remains “serious and unpredictable,” says WHO, the World Health Organization. The most significant concern is regarding the stocks of the experimental Ebola vaccine, as the doctors are worrying that the immunization campaign can’t cope with the fast spread of the epidemic.
Also, one major city in eastern Congo was hit by the new Ebola outbreak. Butembo, the town in question, is having more than one million residents, and, now, the deadly hemorrhagic fever is affecting it.
“We are very concerned by the epidemiological situation in the Butembo area. New cases are increasing quickly in the eastern suburbs and outlying, isolated districts,” explained John Johnson from the Doctors Without Border organization which is now coordinating the vaccination campaign across this city of Congo.
The new Ebola outbreak in Congo is the second largest deadly hemorrhagic fever epidemy in West Africa after the one that killed over 11,300 people a few years ago.
WHO Says The Ebola Outbreak In Congo Remains “Serious and Unpredictable”
“We are extremely concerned about the size of the vaccine stockpile,” said Dr. Peter Salama, WHO’s emergencies director in an interview. He added that 300,000 doses of Ebola vaccine are not sufficient since the Ebola outbreak started to affect urban areas in Congo.
“No interruptions of vaccine supply have occurred to date. Merck is actively working to ensure that a sufficient number of doses continues to be available to meet the potential demand,” said Tarik Jasarevic for The Associated Press.
Besides the harms implied by the Ebola outbreak itself, rebel groups across Congo make the work of international medical teams more challenging, forcing them to halt the vaccination campaigns several times due to civil conflicts.
According to WHO, Ebola outbreak in Congo remains “serious and unpredictable.”