On February 14th, 2021, health authorities in Guinea have officially declared an Ebola epidemic in the southeastern N’Zerekore prefecture, after three cases were confirmed by the national laboratory.
Health authorities of the Ministry of Health have been told by N’Zerekore’s Prefectural Health Department of suspected cases of Ebola in people who attended the funeral of a nurse from Goueke health centre. The woman passed away on January 28, and her burial followed on February 1. The first investigation reported seven cases (four men and three women), as well as three deaths.
The reappearance comes as West Africa is still struggling with the Covid-19 epidemic and after the Democratic Republic of Congo also found new cases of Ebola, only three months after health officials declared the eradication of Congo’s last outbreak.
Guinea -together with Liberia and Sierra Leone- was one of the three most affected countries during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak that struck West Africa, infecting over 28,000 people in 10 countries and causing the death of more than 11,000.
Fortunately, since then, new vaccines , treatments and quick diagnostic tests have been discovered, as well as more efficient ways of counteracting unforeseen outbreaks.
Just like during the previous West Africa outbreak, World Health Organisation staff are already operative and on the ground. They will provide surveillance, in addition to help with strengthening infection prevention and control of health centres. WHO also aims to support the afflicted country by procuring the Ebola vaccine, fundamental for the control of the outbreak.
Raschetti Alice, 3B Cl
CNN, Stephanie Busari and Radina Gigova. “Countries in West Africa on High Alert after Ebola Outbreak in Guinea.” CNN, edition.cnn.com/2021/02/15/africa/ebola-guinea-west-africa-intl/index.html
“New Ebola Outbreak Declared in Guinea.” WHO | Regional Office for Africa, www.afro.who.int/news/new-ebola-outbreak-declared-guinea.