While the World Fights the Pandemic, another Different Outbreak in Guinea Was Just Squelched
On Saturday, the World Health Organization declared the end of Guinea’s second Ebola outbreak, which began in February and cost 12 lives.
The recent flare-small up’s magnitude, 16 confirmed cases and seven suspected infections, has been attributed to experience from the 2013-16 epidemic, which killed more than 11,300 people primarily in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
This time, only 12 individuals were killed.
“I have the honor of declaring the end of Ebola” WHO official Alfred Ki-Zerbo said during a ceremony in Guinea’s southeastern Nzerekore area, where the disease first erupted in late January.
Guinea was required by international law to wait 42 days – twice the virus’s incubation period – without reporting a new case before declaring the epidemic over.
That wait ended on Friday, weeks after the final person was certified cured on May 8, according to a senior health ministry official.
Additionally, Health Minister Remy Lamah declared the outbreak over “in the name of the head of state”
Around 200 people, including religious and community leaders, attended Saturday’s gathering in a health ministry building.
“We must also thank the communities who pitched in to overcome the disease,” Ki-Zerbo of the WHO stated.
During the outbreak last decade, resistance and plain hostility toward anti-Ebola infection control efforts drove some residents of Guinea’s mountainous southeast to attack and even murder government officials.
“Community engagement, effective public health measures and the equitable use of vaccines” were critical in combating Ebola at the time, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
The UN agency reported that it had supplied approximately 24,000 vaccine doses to Guinea and had vaccinated 11,000 persons at high risk, including more than 2,800 frontline workers.
“We’ve beaten Ebola but let’s remain vigilant” a banner unfurled during Saturday’s celebration said.
“We must stay alert for a possible resurgence and ensure the expertise in Ebola expands to other health threats such as COVID-19,” WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti warned.
Genetic sequencing revealed links between the prior outbreak and the current epidemic, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC speculated that this year’s outbreak could have been triggered by “persistent infection in a survivor from the West Africa outbreak” at the time, underlining “the necessity for strong and ongoing survivor programs” as well as additional research.
Ebola is characterized by a high temperature and, in the most severe instances, uncontrollable bleeding.
It is spread via close contact with bodily fluids, and those who live with or care for patients are particularly vulnerable.
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