Democratic Republic Of The Congo (DRC)

Congo approves second Ebola vaccine to fight the deadly virus

Photo of nurse drawing an Ebola vaccine out of the bottle into a needle
Preparing an Ebola vaccination in Goma in August. Photo: Augustin Wamenya/AFP/Getty Images

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has decided to allow a second Ebola vaccine to be distributed to certain areas of its country — a move that the World Health Organization praised as a key tool to halting further expansion of the deadly virus.

Why it matters: The DRC initially resisted some of the recommendations from the WHO, including one to approve testing another experimental vaccine. But DRC's new leader of the Ebola response in the Ministry of Health is trying new activities to halt the outbreak, which as of Sept. 19 killed about 2,111 people and infected roughly 3,157 people (in both probable and confirmed infections).

Ebola death toll in the DRC nears 2,000

In this image, people on bikes and pedestrians walk on a dirt road with trucks in the background
A sign on the border to Rwanda indicates protective measures against the Ebola virus disease, in the Goma city of the DRC. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images

At least 1,974 people have died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from an Ebola virus outbreak that has lasted just over 1 year, according to an update on Friday from the DRC Ministry of Health.

What's new: There are 111 probable deaths in addition to those that have been confirmed, per the DRC Ministry of Health. The World Health Organization (WHO) puts the death toll at 2,074 in its latest update. The DRC's former Minister of Health Oly Ilunga was taken into custody again on Saturday to ensure that he does not avoid legal proceedings for his misdemeanor offenses involving mishandling Ebola funds, the AP reports.