The deadly Ebola outbreak which shook the world is finally slowing down in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The other good news is that the vaccine that had helped to contain the disease from a global reach is finally getting close to its approval.
The Ebola outbreak was first detected when 50 people from the African nation were diagnosed with the disease between September and October last year. At its peak in April this year there were reports of 300 new infections. Almost 3250 people had been infected by the virus since then and the virus had claimed more than 2150 lives. But the drop in the number of infections and cases is of least concern as it should try to eliminate the disease entirely. The disease can be caused through new infections as well which has to be addressed.
Ebola is reported to have spread from the city of Beni, a city in the country’s North Kivu province. WHO said that it was still taking the outbreak of the disease as a cause of international health concern. Ebola virus has been reported of spreading to other regions in the country.
The vaccine against Ebola produced by the pharmaceutical company Merck had been recommended by the European Medicines Agency to be approved by the European Commission.
About 240000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo were vaccinated during the Ebola outbreak. But the vaccine is yet to be approved by the European Commission which means that the product cannot be marketed and is considered to be an experimental product.
The European Medicines Agency is to come out with its recommendations within the next 10 weeks on whether to approve the vaccine for sale. The FDA in the US had also been working to get the vaccine approved. It is expected to come out with its decision by March 2020.