OUTBREAK OF VIRUS
DRC to use trial vaccine in bid to contain Ebola
The remoteness of Bikoro, at the epicentre of the latest outbreak, ‘bodes well for containment’
Kinshasa — A pioneering vaccine and rapid response could bring the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) latest Ebola outbreak under control, minimising the chances of it spreading to more populous areas, officials said. Two cases of the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus were confirmed by Congolese authorities on May 8 around Bikoro in the northwestern province of Equateur. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday the cases were among 34 people with suspected Ebola infections in the area in the past five weeks, 18 of whom died and were considered carriers. It is the ninth recorded outbreak in a country that last battled the disease in 2017. In this case, the remoteness of Bikoro — some 240km by dilapidated road southwest of the provincial capital of Mbandaka, a city of about a million people — may both aid and complicate containment efforts. "We have the advantage of having this epidemic in a very remote area where travelling isn’t easy," said Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfu...