The World Health Organization has deployed 4,000 doses of vaccine along with emergency teams and equipment to the Democratic Republic of Congo to control an outbreak of Ebola, which is suspected to have infected 39 people, including 19 deaths.
The UN agency is working with the country's Ministry of Health and international nongovernmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières to conduct ring vaccinations across the affected region, where contacts of those infected, followed by contacts of those contacts, would all be vaccinated.
Though 4,000 doses have been shipped, more are expected to be sent out, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevik confirmed.
The latest outbreak is occurring in the northwest of country, in the Bikoro health zone, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province.
Of the 39 cases of Ebola reported since April 5, two have been confirmed using laboratory tests.
A further 362 people at risk have been identified using contact tracing, said Dr. Ibrahima-Soce Fall, WHO regional emergency director for Africa.
"This outbreak is very close to the Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. And we are taking it very seriously because it is close to Mbandaka, a city of 1 million people," Fall said, adding that there are two suspected cases in Mbandaka, and the patients are being held in isolation.
The Government of Democratic Republic of the Congo has declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the remote health zone of Bikoro, Equateur Province.
WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health and partners in the activation of an Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate the response and in deployment of rapid response teams to investigate cases and deaths.
US$1 million have been released from the WHO contingency fund for emergencies to support a rapid response.