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Ebola

Scientists to test tailor-made vaccine tech to fight epidemics

LONDON: A global coalition set up to fight disease epidemics is investing up to $8.4 million to develop a synthetic vaccine system that could be tailor-made to fight multiple pathogens such as flu, Ebola, Marburg and Rabies. The deal, between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and a team of scientists at Britain’s Imperial College London is aimed at progressing a “vaccine platform” which uses synthetic self-amplifying RNA (saRNA). A vaccine platform is a system that uses the same basic…

Health workers being vaccinated against Ebola

GOMA: Uganda has vaccinated thousands of health workers against Ebola to counter the spread of the deadly virus from its neighbour Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministers of both countries said Wednesday. A growing outbreak of Ebola in the Beni region of eastern DR Congo, just 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Ugandan border, has claimed some 268 lives among a total of 453 cases, according to figures released Tuesday from the DRC health ministry. Uganda, which last month announced the plan to roll out the…

Ebola outbreak in east Congo now world’s second biggest

KINSHASA: The Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo is now the second biggest in history, with 426 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said late on Thursday. The epidemic in a volatile part of Democratic Republic of Congo is now only surpassed by the 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa, where more than 28,000 cases where confirmed, and is bigger than an outbreak in 2000 in Uganda involving 425 cases. Ebola is believed to have killed 245 people in North Kivu and Ituri provinces where attacks by armed groups and…

Congo approves clinical trials for Ebola treatments

KINSHASA: Congolese authorities have authorised clinical trials for four experimental Ebola treatments, which will allow researchers to collect valuable data about their effectiveness, the health ministry said on Saturday. Health workers have already administered therapeutic treatments to more than 150 Ebola patients since August in an effort to contain the worst of Democratic Republic of Congo’s 10 outbreaks of the hemorrhagic fever since 1976. But until now doctors have decided which treatment to use on a…

Current Ebola outbreak is worst in Congo’s history: ministry

KINSHASA: The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most severe in the country’s history with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said late on Friday. The hemorrhagic fever is believed to have killed 198 people in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, where attacks by armed groups and community resistance to health officials have complicated the response. Congo has suffered 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered near the eponymous Ebola River in 1976. “The current…

DR Congo rolls out prototype Ebola drugs as death toll rises to 67

BENI, DR CONGO: An outbreak of Ebola in eastern DR Congo has killed 67 people this month, authorities said Saturday, as they roll out a battery of new drugs to tackle the virus amid concerns it has spread to a rebel-encircled area. A total of 105 cases have been reported since the flare-up of Ebola began on August 1 in Mangina in North Kivu province, according to the health ministry, out of which 77 have been confirmed by laboratory tests. It said 11 people have recovered from the virus and 67 had died. Health…

Ebola death toll in DR Congo rises to 55

BENI, DR CONGO: The Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo has claimed 55 lives since the start of the month, the authorities said Monday, as the government announced free treatment against the disease for the next three months. The health ministry´s latest bulletin said that the death toll had been increased following five new victims in Mabalako-Mangina, close to Beni, the epicentre of the outbreak in the North Kivu province. In all, "96 cases of haemorrhagic fever were reported in the region, 69 of which had been…

War and Ebola: A double nightmare in eastern DR Congo

First came the war, which developed into a brutal, bloody tussle between militias who abused civilians or killed them. Now Ebola, a name almost as dreaded as death itself, has come. In the Beni region, in the Democratic Republic of Congo´s eastern province of Kivu, the twin peril has bred fear and despair. The region is haunted in particular by the Allied Defence Forces (ADF), a Ugandan Islamist rebel group blamed for hundreds of civilian deaths over the past four years. On August 1, Beni declared an outbreak of…

Red Cross admits $6-million fraud during Ebola crisis

GENEVA: The Red Cross has uncovered several cases of fraud by officials during efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak that struck West Africa in 2014-2016, estimating losses of $6-million (5.2 million euros). In a statement, the Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said it was "outraged", and said it would "ensure any staff involved are held to account." The Ebola virus killed more than 11,300 people and infected an estimated 29,000, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and…

Ebola-like Marburg virus kills two in Uganda: official

KAMPALA: Two people have died from the Marburg virus in eastern Uganda, in the country's first outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like pathogen in three years, the health ministry said on Thursday. "Blood samples were taken from two people who have since died and were found positive for Marburg", Uganda's health ministry permanent secretary, said Dr. Diana Atwine. She said a team of experts had been sent to Kween district, near the Kenyan border, to contain the virus. "At moment we don't know if there are other people…