WHO 'Cautiously Optimistic' on Curbing Congo Ebola Outbreak

The United Nations' World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was "cautiously optimistic" that efforts to slow the spread of Ebola in a Congolese city were working.

There are still cases occurring in more remote areas, however, the WHO said, with a total of 35 confirmed cases, 12 of which have been fatal.

So far, more than 400 people have received an experimental Ebola vaccine that's never before been used in an emerging outbreak, the Associated Press reported.

WHO emergencies chief Peter Salama said rollout of the vaccine has gone "quite smoothly" and the agency had focused its efforts on stopping Ebola in the city of Mbandaka, home to more than a million people.

"We can't conclude we have safeguarded the city of Mbandaka, but so far there hasn't been an explosive increase in cases ... We have reason to be cautiously optimistic," Salama told the AP.

The next step, he said, is to focus on the more remote areas of Iboko and Bikoro, where most of the Ebola cases have been reported. Five new, unlicensed Ebola drugs will also be deployed to help those infected, Salama said, pending Congo's approval.

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