Ebola death toll rises to 27

Ebola literature

Exit screening measures have been put in place to prevent the global spread of the virus, and World Health Organization said it is supporting efforts by nine neighbouring countries to scale up emergency response and preparedness.

In spite of reports of the reduction in new Ebola cases, the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has said that measures aimed at minimising the risk of the spread of Ebola would remain in place until further notice.

Mr Salama, who just returned from a two-day visit to the DRC said: "There's been very strong progress in the outbreak response, particularly in relation to two of the initial three sites: Mbandaka and Bikoro".

"That gives us a lot of source for optimism".

"What this is telling us is the response (the WHO's vaccination program) is having an impact in those two locations", said Salama.

The deadly virus has killed 27 people since the outbreak began in April, and there have been 62 cases, 38 of which were confirmed in a laboratory.

"It's extremely likely the vaccine has had a positive effect", said Salama, basing his assessment on the fact that in Mbandaka there have been no confirmed cases since mid-May and a large portion of contacts have been vaccinated there.

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Salama warned, however, that even one undetected patient, who goes on to infect others could lead to a new spike of Ebola, a fever disease that can lead to bleeding and is highly lethal.

Four of the five approved drugs are now in the country.

On the front lines of the outbreak, health officials use a tool called contact tracing to break the chain of transmission of the Ebola virus.

The Ebola vaccine used is the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, an experimental treatment that was first tested after the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in Guinea, and the participation in the vaccination campaign is voluntary.

Clinicians working in the treatment centres will make decisions on which drug to use as deemed helpful for their patients, and appropriate for the setting.

While Ebola's spread to a major city has complicated efforts to track all contacts of those infected, the presence of the virus in Iboko poses another world of problems. "And we've learned the hard way in the past never to underestimate Ebola".

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