Global health leaders continue their work to contain the latest outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Health Organization sent the first doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV to areas on the Congo Wednesday, May 16.
“The experimental Ebola vaccine that is now being used in the current outbreak happening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been being developed over the last several years, and it seems to have really good promise in stopping these outbreaks,” says Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic.
“Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever. This is a viral infection that generally originates in parts of Africa. When it infects humans, it causes really severe disease and often leads to death,” says Dr. Tosh. “In 2014, the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded occurred. It was largely in West Africa. Thankfully, due to large international efforts, that outbreak was able to be stopped. Now, in certain parts of Africa, specifically the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ebola is an endemic disease, meaning that there are sporadic cases that occur every year.”
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