Guinea declares Ebola outbreak as the country reports three deaths

EYEAFRICA TV: Conakry, GUINEA:- Health authorities in Guinea have on Monday declared an outbreak of Ebola in the rural community of Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture after three Ebola cases were confirmed by the national laboratory, marking the first time the disease has been reported in the country since an outbreak ended in 2016.

The declaration follows at least three people in the nation’s south-east dying and another four people falling ill.

Guinea was one of the three most-affected countries in the 2014–2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak which was the largest since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

“It’s a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country which has already suffered so much from the disease. However, banking on the expertise and experience built during the previous outbreak, health teams in Guinea are on the move to quickly trace the path of the virus and curb further infections,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

“WHO is supporting the authorities to set up testing, contact-tracing and treatment structures and to bring the overall response to full speed.”

During the West African outbreak, WHO and partners supported Guinea to build up its capacity to respond to Ebola and the country has developed crucial expertise. Guinean health workers played a key role in supporting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with its recent outbreaks, with teams of vaccinators helping to train health workers in the DRC.

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.

During the West Africa Ebola outbreak there were 28 000 cases, including 11 000 deaths. The outbreak started in Guinea and then moved across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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