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Ebola vaccinations begin in Congo's latest deadly outbreak


began Wednesday in Congo's latest outbreak of the deadly virus that has already claimed at least nine lives.

officials have warned that containing the outbreak in province is complicated by the presence of multiple armed groups vying for mineral-rich land in the northeastern region that borders and

The latest outbreak, declared Aug. 1 in Mangina village in the Mabalako zone, is Congo's tenth outbreak since the virus was identified in 1976.

This outbreak has seen 16 confirmed cases, 27 probable cases and 46 suspected ones.

Some 36 people have died from amid the outbreak, but officials said many cannot be confirmed as deaths at this point.

Three thousand doses of the Ebola vaccine are being sent from Kinshasa, the capital, and will be used first in the Mabalako zone and in the nearby city of Beni, which has more than 680,000 people.

The experimental vaccine was used in an earlier, unrelated outbreak in Congo's northwest that was declared over last month.

The first to be vaccinated are health workers, contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts in what is called a ring campaign.

The strategy is the same that was used to contain the previous outbreak in province, with more than 3,300 people vaccinated.

The first people to be vaccinated on Wednesday included the Beni's region and medical staff. Other residents in and Mangina will receive Thursday, authorities said.

"I will be very content to receive the tomorrow," said "When I see the doctors preparing the funerals for those who have died from Ebola, without their family, it gives me goose bumps."

Ebola jumps to humans from animals including bats and monkeys. It can be spread through contact of bodily fluids of someone infected, living or dead. There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

Genetic analysis has confirmed the virus strain in this latest outbreak is the Zaire one.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 08 2018. 20:40 IST