Ebola death toll in DR Congo rises to 979

FILE Members of the rebel group on board a truck from the North Kivu provincial capital of Goma the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Ebola response in the city of Butembo, in the eastern North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, was interrupted by violence again on Wednesday. These vaccination approaches have already been used successfully in the field by World Health Organization to make the ring vaccination process faster, more secure, and more responsive to community feedback. The volatile security situation has impeded efforts to control the virus' spread as health teams can not safely go to all the areas where disease transmission is happening.

That vaccine, developed by Merck, remains unlicenced but has been widely shown to be safe and effective. SAGE now additionally recommends the adenovirus 26 vectored glycoprotein / MVA-BN (Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN) investigational Ebola vaccine, developed by the Janssen Divison of Johnson & Johnson.

"We also know that we still face challenges in making sure the contacts of every case receive the vaccine as soon as possible", he added.

SAGE also advised cutting the dose for high-risk patients in half and for lower risk patients to one fifth of current levels.

In the past week, 23 cases were reported in one day, the highest since the start of the outbreak in August a year ago. The outbreak is being considered as the second-deadliest in the history of Ebola outbreaks, only topped by the breakout in West Africa in 2014 when more than 11000 people died of it.

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Workhorse reported that its first quarter sales for this year were at $364,000, down from $560,000 for the quarter in 2018. Toledo Transmission will expand production of the company's all-new 10-speed automatic transmission for trucks and SUVs.

Efforts to roll back the contagious hemorrhagic fever have been hampered by rebel attacks on health facilities and clinics.

In a statement, the WHO's panel of experts announced that a wider group of "tertiary" contacts would now be vaccinated and said it was reducing dosages to allow for this due to concerns over "a potential vaccine shortage" if the outbreak expands.

But in recent weeks senior WHO officials have conceded that insecurity, scarce financial resources and local politicians turning people against health workers had seriously undermined the containment effort.

The UN health agency stressed Tuesday that providing vaccination to the broader community could also enhance acceptance of the vaccine and other control measures. The goal is that by end of the month a majority of vaccination team members are healthcare workers, doctors and medical students from affected communities who also speak the local languages.

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