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WHO ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Ebola outbreak after vaccinations

Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said more than 400 potential Ebola contacts had been vaccinated.

Health workers vaccinating residents in Mbandaka, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Picture: @WHOAFRO/Twitter

GENEVA - The World Health Organization (WHO) is cautiously optimistic about the progress of the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo after 90% of people at risk in the city of Mbandaka were vaccinated, a senior WHO official said on Tuesday.

Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said more than 400 potential Ebola contacts had been vaccinated.

Although he could not say for certain the city had been safeguarded, he was cautiously optimistic, and there had been no explosive increase in cases.

He also said he hoped to get government approval within days to use five experimental drugs to treat Ebola patients, in a clinical trial which could lay the groundwork for more rapid treatments in future outbreaks.