WHO said it would “rapidly” deploy means to contain the outbreak that has left seven cases, three of them fatal.
GUINEA Africa (AP)- At least three people died in Guinea due to a new “epidemic situation” of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, five years after the end of the previous outbreak, Guinea’s head’s health agency, Sakoba Keita, said Sunday. “Very early this morning, the laboratory in Conakry confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus,” Keita said after an emergency meeting in Conakry, which accounted for seven cases, three of which were fatal.
Health Minister Rémy Lamah had cited a death toll of four on Saturday night. This is the first recorded resurgence of the disease in West Africa, where the worst outbreak in the history of the virus, which killed more than 11,300 people between 2013 and 2016, began.
After an emergency meeting in Conakry, Keita, who heads the National Health Security Agency (ANSS), explained to the press that one person had died at the end of January in Gouecké, near the Liberian border. “His funeral took place in Gouecké on February 1, and some people who participated in this funeral began to have symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, blood spillage, and fever a few days later,” said the head of the health agency.
The first samples tested by a laboratory set up by the European Union in Guéckédou in the region revealed the Ebola virus’s presence in some of them on Friday, he said. “Very early this morning, the laboratory in Conakry confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus,” Keita added. “In total, there were seven cases, including three deaths. This situation puts Guinea in an Ebola epidemic situation,” the doctor concluded.
To deploy support to contain the Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) will “rapidly” deploy means, including doses of vaccines, to help Guinea deal with the resurgent Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic, the UN agency’s representative said. “We will quickly deploy the necessary capabilities to support Guinea, which already has a lot of experience,” Professor Alfred George Ki-Zerbo told reporters at the end of a meeting with health authorities in Guinea, where the epidemic situation was officially confirmed this Sunday.
“The arsenal today is much more extensive, and we have to take advantage of it to be able to contain this situation as quickly as possible,” he added. “WHO is on alert at all levels: at headquarters level and concerning the (vaccine) manufacturer, so that the necessary doses are made available as quickly as possible to help,” the professor continued.
The Ebola virus, which causes high fever, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea, was first identified in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1976. At the moment, there are two experimental vaccines, but there is no treatment capable of curing the virus, which has caused terror in Africa several times.
The development of vaccines against the Ebola virus accelerated in the wake of the worst epidemic of this particularly lethal disease, which began in December 2013 in Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone but eventually reached a total of ten countries with cases in Spain and the United States.
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