Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
The Ministry of Public Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced the launch of Ebola vaccinations for high-risk populations in the province of North Kivu.
The North Kivu outbreak is the second outbreak of Ebola this year in the DRC, occurring just over a week after the Equator province outbreak was announced as having ended (July 24th). As of August 8th 44 cases (17 confirmed and 27 probable) have been reported in North Kivu, with an additional 47 suspect cases under investigation.
The outbreak was first announced on August 1st as a cluster of presumptive cases in North Kivu, which is situated over 2,500km from Equator province. On August 7th genetic analysis from the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in Kinshasa confirmed the cases were Ebola Zaire and weren’t closely linked to the Equator province outbreak strain – this meant the Kivu cases were a new outbreak and the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, already in the country from the previous outbreak, could be used.