Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Mass vaccination may not prevent Ebola outbreaks

Mass vaccination may not prevent Ebola outbreaks

Port Harcourt is not new to occurrences of Ebola as the city experienced a few cases to resulted in the death of a doctor in 2014.

Some 21 suspected cases have been recorded.

Isaac Adewole, has disclosed plans by the federal government to curtail any break out of the dreaded ebola virus in Nigeria. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that these diseases be ruled out before diagnosis of Ebola virus. A report was released by Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which said that the speed of the response and lack of reliability led to human suffering and chaos.

The study identified that, in the critical phases of many Ebola virus outbreaks, the average infected individual infects four or more other people, which enables the virus to spread rapidly.

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In response to the 2017 outbreak, DRC quickly alerted local authorities, began blood testing, announced the outbreak early on, and authorities responded quickly. Bats are able to host Ebola virus without risk of death.

It is contracted by contact with bodily fluids - touching a sick or dead person is a well-known source of infection.

At this level, 80 per cent of a population would need to be immunised to prevent outbreaks, even if a highly effective vaccine that protects 90 per cent of individuals after vaccination was available.

According to Adewole, the council ordered steps to be taken to keep the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from coming to Nigeria. The team found 5 cases, 2 of whom were hospitalized at Bikoro General Hospital and 3 at the Ikoko Impenge Health Center.

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"We will gather more samples, conduct contact tracing, engage the communities with messages on prevention and control, and put in place methods for improving data collection and sharing", said Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement.

He also disclosed that an emergency operation centre would be set up.

World Health Organization plans to deploy epidemiologists, logisticians, clinicians, infection prevention and control experts, risk communications experts and vaccination support teams in the coming days, said the statement.

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