Congo to use Ebola vaccine as early as next week: health minister

FILE PHOTO: A World Health Organization (WHO) worker prepares to administer a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating an outbreak of Ebola in the port city of Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe/File Photo

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo will start using Ebola vaccine as early as next week to counter a flare-up the heavily populated eastern part of the Central African country, health minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga said.

Four people have tested positive for Ebola in and around Mangina, a town of about 60,000 people in North Kivu province, some 100 km (60 miles) from the Ugandan border. Another 20 people died from unidentified hemorrhagic fevers in July.

The vaccine in question is manufactured by Merck, the minister said.

Reporting By Benoit Nyemba; Writing by Edward McAllister; editing by John Stonestreet