May 3, 2019 / 12:57 PM / 21 days ago

Congo Ebola death toll nears 1,000, expected to spread -WHO

GENEVA, May 3 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization said on Friday it feared continued “intense transmission” of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where deaths from a nine-month-old epidemic is 994 and expected to exceed 1,000 within hours.

The WHO plans to introduce an unlicensed new Ebola vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, in addition to a Merck vaccine already being used, as “another tool in the toolbox”, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told a news briefing in Geneva.

But security incidents continue to plague the response to the outbreak, including a would-be assault on a facility on Thursday, slowing vaccination and daily checks on some 12,000 people potentially exposed to the virus, he said.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay Editing by Mark Heinrich

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