Health workers in Uganda have started vaccination of high-risk healthcare workers against the deadly virus infection at Ebol this week. This is the first time vaccine recovery has started before the actual outbreak.
This precautionary principle is being adopted because healthcare professionals are worried that the infection will spread to countries across the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The outbreak of the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently the worst. Officials say that armed conflicts in the region are worrying about the transmission of infection through borders.
Ebola virus attacked immune system image image credit: Crevis / Shutterstock
By this season, the DR has suspected that there are about 300 cases with Ebola, and 265 confirmed cases of illness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report, the infection has killed 151 people in the country so far. The WHO statement states, "Vaccination of healthcare workers against Ebola virus disease, even before Uganda finds a single case, health authorities are cautious because they have learned bitter training from previous outbreaks."
The vaccine administered is still experimental, but clinical trials have shown that it is protective. It will only be administered to about 2,000 first contact health workers working on the DRC border in North Kivu Province and say WHO and will not be available to the general public.
"It is highly likely that Uganda will be able to import Ebola virus disease from the DRC, given the proximity of the current epicenter, large-scale population changes in trade, socioeconomic connections and the availability of convenient health care services in Uganda," the WHO said. KCV individuals who have come into contact with an Ebola patient have been vaccinated, and those who come in contact with these contacts have also been vaccinated. This is known as a "call-based vaccination strategy" and is an effective method of eradicating highly contagious infections, officials said.
Yon Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO representative from Uganda, said: "The previous one [Ebola] Outbreaks in Uganda lost health workers, including well-known Dr. Matthew Lukwiya, as they took care of patients. Scientists believe that such an invaluable life would be saved if there was a vaccine. "
Jane Aceng, Ugandan Minister of Health, added: "The threat to public health of the transboundary Ebola transport to Uganda [from DRC] was assessed as very high at national level. Affected parts of the DRC [North Kivu and Ituri provinces] is about 100 km from Uganda border areas. A non-indigent Ebola patient could submit a medical help to a health facility in Uganda. In this context, Ugandan healthcare workers and senior staff may come into contact with [Ebola] in case. "
Ebola is a deadly virus infection that was first detected and detected in 1976. Since then, there have been persistent outbreaks throughout Central and West Africa. Uganda was infected before 2000 and 2001, when 261 infections were infected and 574 people were infected. During the infection, 11,000 people were killed in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and infected 28,000 in 2014-2016.
The infection can kill 20 to 70 percent of the infected person depending on the virus strain. Only infected only the available treatment is supportive therapy. There are some experimental antibody therapies that are being tested in the treatment of the disease. Some of these combinations include ZMapp, REGN-EB3, antiviral medication remdesivir and one antibody drug mAb114.
This latest vaccine to be administered is developed by Merck and is not yet licensed.