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Doctors Without Borders official points to deteriorating Ebola situation in Congo

As yet, the effectiveness of the vaccine is to be proven, according to the association's manager

PRETORIA, August 23. /TASS/. The situation in the Ebola-affected regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is deteriorating, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Southern Africa Association Manager Monica Genya said in an interview with TASS.

"The number of cases is increasing every week. In the last two months, we’ve seen the highest recorded number of cases," she said, adding that the area affected by the disease was expanding.

According to Genya, Doctors Without Borders and its partners "are fighting very hard to contain the outbreak" but so far, they have been unable to stop the virus from spreading.

Ebola cases registered in the city of Goma, which has a population of over a million, cause particular concern, she pointed out.

In response to a question about the effectiveness of the current vaccination campaign, Genya said that "the vaccination is still experimental, so we will have more data after this outbreak recedes to be able to see if it works or not." "We believe that it could help to prevent the spread of the disease," she added.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2,800 Ebola cases were confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the past 12 months, while over 1,900 people died. An Ebola virus epidemic broke out in the country in the summer of 2018. On July 17, 2019, the WHO declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the DRC a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Ebola virus was first discovered in a settlement on the banks of the Ebola River in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1976. The disease caused by the virus spreads quickly bringing high mortality. The latest Ebola epidemic broke out in Guinea in 2013 and later engulfed Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Ebola cases were also reported in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. According to the World Health Organization, more than 28,500 people were infected and over 11,000 died.