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Uganda, at high risk for Ebola, starts vaccinating medics
07 November 2018, 07:25 | Silvia Roy
NIAID NIHAn electron micrograph scan shows the Ebola virus emerging from an infected cell
The deadly Ebola virus has infected 300 people in Congo since an outbreak erupted nearly two months ago in the country's east, the health ministry said on Tuesday.
The vaccinations are crucial to stemming transmission "in a highly endemic belt for hemorrhagic fevers", said Anthony Mbonye, a professor of health sciences at Uganda's Makerere University. They say unofficial border crossings also are a cause for concern.
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No fewer than 3,000 health care and frontline workers in the five high-risk western districts bordering the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are targeted.
The vaccination programme launches on Wednesday with support from the World Health Organization, targeting 2,000 frontline workers in districts close to DRC's North Kivu province, which is now experiencing an outbreak of the deadly virus.
It was learned from authorities that about 26,000 people in the central African country have meanwhile received a vaccine to prevent Ebola.
In Congo, where thousands of people have been given the experimental Ebola vaccine, a worrying number of vaccinated health workers have been infected. Dozens more have died since then, according to a tally reported by Congo's health ministry.
If global Ebola containment efforts fail in the Congo, it would mark the first time the virus was not stopped since 1976, when Ebola was first identified. Since 2014, about 2,000 people have been killed in clashes between armed groups.
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