Medical workers complete experimental vaccination of Ebola contacts in the Congo


Medical providers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have finished administering an experimental vaccine to all immediate contacts of Ebola patients in the city of Mbandaka to hinder the disease outbreak — which has killed roughly 25 people, The New York Times reports.

The medical strategy, called ring vaccination, vaccinates the contacts of confirmed patients as well as others in close contact with those contacts. These patients include family members and those who may have come into contact with a sufferer.

The experimental vaccine, developed by Merck, was administered to 1,112 people. The vaccination covers all known contacts of confirmed Ebola cases in the city as well as those people's contacts, according to a June 3 news release from the nation's health ministry.

There have been no Ebola deaths reported since May 25. The last confirmed case was recorded May 29, but health officials said they cannot make definitive pronouncements about the outbreak's course.

The most recent data from the health ministry shows 53 cases of Ebola in the outbreak, including 37 confirmed, 13 probable and three suspected.

One new suspected case was recorded June 4 in Iboko, a rural community in the Congo. Five suspected cases came back negative, according to the health ministry.

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