A year-long Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 1,800 in the second biggest toll ever, and efforts to contain the virus have been hobbled by militia violence and some local resistance to outside interference.
Goma, a lakeside city of nearly two million people on the Rwandan border, has been on high alert over the past week after a gold miner with a large family contaminated several people before dying himself.
“Ongoing vaccination activities have reached the majority (98 per cent) of eligible contacts, and 1,314 contacts, while frontline workers have been vaccinated to date,” the UN agency said in a statement.
No new confirmed cases have been reported in Goma since the WHO’s last report on Aug. 2.
The use of an experimental Ebola vaccine, developed by Merck, has proven to be a key weapon against the hemorrhagic fever, although reaching contacts in rural areas beset by violence has proven difficult.
The vaccine’s success has been most obvious in cities where contacts are easier to trace, helping to avoid the widespread havoc seen in densely populated areas during a 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa that killed over 11,000 people.