Guinea in “Ebola epidemic situation” with several confirmed cases and deaths

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Medecins Sans Frontières caregivers in Monrovia, capital of Liberia, in August 2014 (illustration photo)

EBOLA – Guinea is once again in an “epidemic situation” with Ebola hemorrhagic fever, five years after the end of the previous epidemic, after the confirmation of seven cases, including three fatal, which appeared in the south-east of the country, the head of the Guinean health agency, Sakoba Keïta, said this Sunday, February 14.

“Very early this morning, the Conakry laboratory confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus,” said Dr Keïta after an emergency meeting in Conakry. The Minister of Health, Rémy Lamah, spoke on Saturday evening of a death toll of four.

Dr Keïta explained to the press that a person died at the end of January in Gouecké, in the region of Forest Guinea, near the border with Liberia. “His burial took place in Gouecké on February 1 and some people who took part in this funeral began to have symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding 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 presence of the Ebola virus in some of them on Friday, he said. “Very early this morning, the Conakry laboratory confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus”, added Dr Keïta. “In total, there were seven cases, including three deaths,” he said.

More than 11,000 deaths between 2013 and 2016

This is the first reported resurgence of the disease in West Africa, leading to the worst epidemic in the history of the virus, which killed more than 11,300 people between 2013 and 2016 and some 28,600 reported cases , more than 99% in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Appearing in the same region of forest Guinea, before spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone, the epidemic ended in 2016 after reaching 10 countries, including Spain and the United States.

Liberian President George Weah for his part ordered health professionals on Sunday to strengthen epidemiological vigilance in the country and to take “preventive measures”, after the announcement of the first fatal cases in neighboring Guinea.

If the new cases concern a region of Guinea close to the Liberian border, “however, there are no cases of the disease reported so far in the country”, assured the presidency.

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