Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo began a new vaccination campaign Monday in a bid to stop the spread of the latest Ebola outbreak. Doctors have 7,500 doses of an experimental serum known as RVSV ZEBOV and plan to vaccinate anyone who has come into contact with patients infected with the deadly virus. At least 27 people have died in Congo’s Equator province and officials believe nearly 50 more have contracted Ebola. All of the patients are suffering from a hemorrhagic fever, but labs have only confirmed three deaths caused by Ebola. Doctors have confirmed 28 total Ebola infections so far. Officials are especially worried about the disease spreading now that doctors have reported four cases in the city of Mdbandaka, home to 12 million people. U.S. drug company Merck developed the vaccine after the 2014 Ebola outbreak in East Africa that killed more than 11,300 people. It’s still in the experimental phase but showed promise in warding off the virus toward the end of the last outbreak.
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Jim is a former WORLD reporter.
Leigh is the news editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.