The Democratic Republic of the Congo is set to deploy an experimental vaccine against its ongoing Ebola outbreak as early as this week, the WHO announced Sunday. The outbreak's proximity to major waterways means it could spread quickly if not contained.
Approved under compassionate use protocol, the DRC plans to vaccinate anyone who has been in contact with a case. As of Saturday, the WHO estimated 2 confirmed, 20 probable and 17 suspected cases, and at least 18 deaths.
WHO vaccine stocks in Geneva will be sent to the DRC Thursday, and the “cold chain” to keep them at subzero temperatures arrived Sunday.
Want to learn more? Check out this free OpenWHO.org online Ebola virus overview course. Materials are available in English, French and Lingala, and can be downloaded for offline use in remote areas.