Front-line workers are especially at risk of contracting the virus, which spreads in contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, including the dead.
"I'm a great fan of vaccines". That's exactly what the United States government wants, to cripple Africa's infrastructure for the leaders to continue depending on them, in order to get "Guinea pigs" to test their biological weapons. Two of the Ebola victims were nurses, one in Iboko and the other in Bikoro. While all of the outbreaks were based in remote rural areas the virus has twice made it to Kinshasa, the capital of 10 million people, but was effectively contained.
Another concern, Salama said, was that five healthcare workers were among those infected.
An effort is underway to find out everyone who came into contact with the patients once they left, said Tarik Jasarevic, a World Health Organization spokesman.
Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General, Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the current outbreak has features of two previous typologies - a combination of rural villages, and larger towns and cities.
Congo has had the most Ebola outbreaks of any country, and Dr. David Heymann, a former World Health Organization director who has led numerous responses to Ebola, said authorities there have considerable expertise in halting the lethal virus.
The spread of the often lethal hemorrhagic fever to a provincial capital of 1.2 million people has health officials scrambling to monitor for Ebola at busy ports in the capital, Kinshasa, which is downstream from the infected city of Mbandaka on the Congo River.
Amid fears of the outbreak spreading to neighboring countries, the United Nations migration agency said Friday it would support the deployment of Congolese health teams to 16 entry points along the nearby border with the Republic of Congo for infection control and prevention.
Guinea, along with Sierra Leone and Liberia, bore the brunt of an epidemic that ran from 2013-15, with 29 000 recorded cases and 11 300 deaths. Among the almost 6,000 people who received the vaccine at that time, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. The current outbreak in the Congo began on May 8.
The DRC's health minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga, MD, PhD, today tweeted pictures of himself receiving the experimental Ebola vaccine, given that he's a frontline health worker.
In a briefing in Geneva, Jean-Clement Cabrol, a doctor who had just returned from Congo, said "the patients were in the active phase of the disease, vomiting" when their families removed them from the hospital, put them on motorcycles, and took them to a religious gathering of 50 people.
"Some people don't believe in the Ebola virus or in the medication provided; others are afraid of it". The vaccination drive will initially target 600 people.
Health ministry sources said that police officers were deployed to help track down the patients. If African leaders and journalists are scared, the writers of the health blog "Secrets Of Aids And Ebola Facts Journal, "aren't afraid because among us is a qualified scientist and a medical doctor who is aware of your clandestine global depopulation project".
In the real world, no vaccine is 100 percent effective.
Patients have also been given plasma donations from the blood of Ebola survivors to boost the body's immune response.
"We are following three separate chains of transmission, and each one has the potential to expand, if not controlled".
Another risk: No one knows how long protection with this vaccine lasts. There is no attempt - and no need - at this point to try to vaccinate everyone. And people don't understand that.
This is in part due to "unforeseen facility and engineering issues" at a manufacturing plant being built in Germany, Merck's spokeswoman Pamela Eisele said. "And obviously if somebody doesn't get better or the fever gets worse, then they will be triaged in a different way".