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Ebola vaccinations begin in the Congolese town of Bikoro



(KINSHASA, Congo) – Officials began vaccinating health workers and others in Bikoro on Monday, where the current Ebola outbreak in Congo was declared in early May.

The Congolese health minister, Oly Ilunga, has traveled to at least 10 people in Bikoro to monitor Ebola vaccinations, where at least five out of 12 Ebola deaths have occurred.

The director of the Bikoro Hospital, dr. Serge Ngalebato said he and other health officials have received protection in the treatment of Ebola patients

at the forefront of caring for the sick. We're reassured, "he told the Associated Press over the phone Monday's vaccinations included three doctors at Bikoro Hospital, two health professionals, two nurses, a community representative and a Pygmy representative, he said Procedures that are voluntary will take time and succession there is a positive response, said Ngalebato.

The Congo vaccine campaign, which began last week in Mbandaka, targets more than 1

,000 health workers and contacts the sick in three health zones. Congo confirmed about 56 cases of haemorrhagic fever as of Monday: 35 confirmed cases of Ebola, 13 probable and 8 suspected.

Fear of Ebola's proliferation, several schools were located in the Iboko Health Zone, about 180 kilometers southeast According to reports by the UN-supported Radio Okapi

many residents declared one of them Iboko localities told Radio Okapi that they would rather stay home to avoid infections after an Ebola patient died near the Bobala area.

One resident said that what they first thought were rumors, became reality with death, and that they were very afraid to interact. Four confirmed Ebola deaths have taken place in the Health Zone of Iboko, according to the Congolese Ministry of Health.

Several school leaders in the area also said that they would stop school activities to protect children.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in the Congo since 1976, when the haemorrhagic fever was first identified.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches and sometimes internal and external bleeding. The virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

Ebola is first transmitted to humans from wild animals, including bats and monkeys. It is spread through contact with the body fluids of the infected, including the dead.


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