Three hundred thousand doses of the Ebola vaccine that was developed in Canada have been stockpiled and are ready to go, if needed, to help contain the just-declared Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, say health and pharmaceutical officials.
Though the scope of the outbreak is not yet known, World Health Organization is not recommending any restrictions on trade with or travel to DRC. WHO Africa states that the complete extent of Ebola virus outbreak in 2017 is not yet known, and does not recommend any restriction on travelers from entering DRC.
The first case was confirmed on Friday in Bas-Uele province in the north-east of the country.
Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey nearly died twice after contracting the virus during work in Sierra Leone. "Now it takes about two to three days to reach the epicenter from Kinshasa", WHO said.
The Ebola virus, which is spread through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids, such as sweat, feces, vomit or semen, is highly contagious and extremely fatal if untreated, with an average survival rate of approximately 50 percent, according to WHO.
More than 11, OOO died in that outbreak described as the worst Ebola outbreak. The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) has been activated to provide additional support if required.
The last outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo was in 2014 and killed more than 40 people.
The deadly haemorrhagic fever was first detected in its dense tropical forests in 1976 and named after the nearby river Ebola. A third person who cared for the first case also became ill and subsequently died.
A health worker sprays a colleague with disinfectant during a training session for Congolese health workers to deal with Ebola virus in Kinshasa October 21, 2014.
Health officials from Congo, the United Nations and humanitarian groups were immediately sent to the north to respond to the outbreak. More than 10,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in more than two years of war, which has also destroyed much of the country's infrastructure.
The WHO said that among the 20 suspected cases, two have tested positive for the virus.
Earlier, the Minister had a meeting with the Airport Manager Alhaji Sani Muhammed, who assured Adewole of the readiness of all the airport staff to work together in ensuring that Ebola does not come in the country.
Last week, World Health Organization reported one Ebola-related death and the possibility of two others.
Isolation centers will be set up in case the outbreak spreads, according to the WHO.