At-risk healthcare workers being vaccinated against Ebola in Uganda

Doctors remove the corpse of an Ebola victim on 22 August 2018 à Mangina eastern DRC.                  AFP  John Wessels

The World Health Organization, CDC and other worldwide health organizations say they are anxious about the current Ebola outbreak spreading to port cities like Butembo, which will only exacerbate infection transmission rates.

Uganda is to administer an experimental Ebola vaccine for health workers in high-risk areas bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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.

In DRC till date, this season, around 300 cases of Ebola have been suspected with 265 confirmed cases of the disease. "This context puts the healthcare and frontline workers in Uganda at risk of being in contact with an [Ebola] case".

The mission will visit the eastern province of North Kivu, where the focus of the current outbreak of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus is located.

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Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO country representative in Uganda, told newsmen that the operation kicked off in Uganda's western district of Ntoroko.

The outbreak began shortly after the government declared an end to another outbreak in the west of the country in June and lauded those involved for managing to swiftly contain the spread of the disease.

In December 2000, Lukwiya, a medical superintendent of Lacor Hospital in the northern district of Gulu, died along with 12 nurses after contracting the highly contagious disease, which is transmitted through contact with body fluids.

According to authorities, about 26,000 people in the central African nation have meanwhile received a vaccine to prevent Ebola. "Not because of the unequipped terrain and unpaved dirt roads but because these villages act as front lines between the different armed groups", Dr. Eric Mukuma, a health zone coordinator for the aid group CARE, wrote in an editorial in the Guardian newspaper.Some patients have also fled treatment centers, carrying the virus with them.

"Currently 2,100 doses of the rVSV vaccine are available", Aceng said, with plans in place to increase that to 3,000. Once infected only management available is supportive therapy. Some of these combinations include ZMapp, REGN-EB3, the antiviral drug remdesivir and single-antibody drug called mAb114.

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