News Scan for May 31, 2017

DRC Ebola response
Meningitis C in Nigeria, Niger
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WHO: International vaccine deployment not recommended in DRC

In the latest situation report on the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said that international vaccine deployment of rVSV-ZEBOV, the experimental Ebola vaccine, and cold chain shipment is not advised at this time to contain the outbreak.

As reported yesterday, DRC authorities have approved a possible ring vaccination strategy if needed. Although advising against that step at this point, the WHO did say, "Planning and arrangements should be in place for immediate deployment if necessary."

As seen in recent situation reports, the number of suspected Ebola cases that have been discarded continues to climb. As of May 30, 2 previously suspected cases tested negative for Ebola, which leaves only 2 confirmed cases, 3 probable, and 12 confirmed cases. There are still only three deaths attributed to the hemorrhagic virus, and the last confirmed case was diagnosed on May 11.

All cases are in the Likati Health Zone, in the northern reaches of the DRC. The remote area is hard to access, which has helped limit the outbreak.

As of May 30, 101 contacts are still being traced and monitored for signs and symptoms of Ebola, the WHO said. Follow-up will last 21 days.
May 30 WHO situation report


MSF tackles meningitis C outbreaks in Niger, Nigeria

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) announced yesterday that it was continuing vaccination efforts to help quell one of the largest outbreaks of meningitis C in Africa's meningitis belt.

Nigeria has reported 13,943 suspected cases and 1,112 deaths since Dec 13, 2016. In Niger, there have been 3,037 recorded cases since Jan 1 and 179 deaths. 

Last week, MSF finished a vaccination campaign that reached 136,000 people in the worst-hit areas of Nigeria. A separate campaign vaccinated 140,600 people in the Sokoto region of Nigeria. Both campaigns have been aided by the Ministry of Health of Nigeria.

In Niger, MSF worked with local authorities to launch vaccination campaigns that inoculated 463,800 people between the ages of 2 and 20 years in 28 health areas of the country where meningitis C infections have reached endemic levels.
May 30 MSF story

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