Public health authorities in Guinea have reported three deaths from the Ebola virus, alongside 4 positive cases, five years after the country’s deadly Ebola outbreak that killed 2500 people.
All 7 persons suffered from hemorrhagic fever, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding after taking part in the burial of a nurse in Goueke, near the south-eastern city of N’Zerekore prefecture, on February 1.
Following the confirmation, WHO representative in Guinea, Alfred George Ki-Zerbo, told the Associated Press “ The WHO is on full alert and is in contact with the manufacturer [of a vaccine] to ensure the necessary doses are made available as quickly as possible to help fight back”.
Guinea’s announcement comes one week after eastern Congo confirmed some persons had contracted the Ebola virus.
More than 11,000 people in West Africa died form the Ebola epidemic which began in Guinea between 2013 and 2016. About 2,500 people were killed in Guinea, while neighboring countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone were also badly affected.
What will happen next ?
The government of Guinea has already declared an Ebola epidemic in the country. Contacts are being traced and suspected cases isolated.
WHO Africa says “samples of the confirmed cases have been sent to the Institut Pasteur in Senegal for a full genome sequencing to identify the strain of the Ebola virus”.
The WHO officials are also working with public health authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and other countries at risk, to step up surveillance in their border districts and strengthen their capacity to screen persons for the virus. Authorities will also have to carry out surveillance in health districts.
The Ebola cases in the West African country adds to the COVID-19 pandemic, now considered in Guinea a lesser deadly disease, compared to Ebola.
Kathy Neba Sina