These days, the memory of tens of thousands of dead comes back to haunt Guinea. Ebola disease has reappeared, five years after the end of the deadly epidemic in West Africa which had started in the same country. Seven cases, including three fatalities, have been reported in recent days in the southeast of the territory, said the head of the Guinean health agency, Sakoba Keïta. During the previous wave, the case fatality rate of this hemorrhagic fever was 55%… against “only” 1% for Covid-19.
Ebola is, however, less contagious than the coronavirus. Most importantly, lessons have been learned from the 2013 epidemic. “At the time, it took three and a half months for the diagnosis, while this time it took less than two weeks”, pointed out Sakoba Keïta. Patient zero, this time around, could be a nurse from the town of Gouécké, who died between January 27 and 28 and was buried on February 1. “Among those who attended the funeral, eight people presented signs : diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding. Three of them died and four others are hospitalized in Nzérékoré ”, he explained.
“A more extensive arsenal today”
No curative treatment has been developed for this “Disease of poor people in poor countries”, as noted at the time the deputy director of the WHO in Release, but two experimental vaccines exist today. “The arsenal is now more extensive and we must take advantage of it to be able to contain this situation as quickly as possible, declared Professor Alfred George Ki-Zerbo, representative of the UN organization in Conakry. WHO is alerted at all levels, at headquarters and in conjunction with the manufacturer [de vaccins], so that the necessary doses are made available as quickly as possible to help this response. “
Neighboring Liberia (4,800 deaths from the disease in 2014) immediately announced a strengthening of epidemiological surveillance and “preventive measures”. It is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4,000 kilometers away, that the killer fever has experienced the most resurgences since its discovery in 1976. The eleventh epidemic officially ended on November 18. But Kinshasa announced last week the discovery of new cases: Ebola has already killed two women farmers in the province of North Kivu.
Source: Libération by www.liberation.fr.
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