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Ebola Kills African United States

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Ebola Guinea declares Ebola epidemic

 

Ebola Guinea just declared a Ebola epidemic.

February 15, 2021

Ebola Guinea has officially declared it has an Ebola epidemic after at least three people have died from Ebola Virus. Many people have been infected with Ebola in Guinea

Neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia have put their citizens on high alert as the three West African nations battled the world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2016, which began in Guinea and in which more than 11,300 people died.

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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has flown to consult with Guinean President Alpha Conde.

Guinea’s new Ebola outbreak occurred in N’Zerekore, in southern Guinea, where health officials detected suspicious cases of Ebola with patients presenting symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding. The sick had participated in the burial of a nurse on Feb. 1 in Gouake, according to Guinea’s Minister of Health Remy Lamah, who added that the first investigation counted seven cases, all of people over the age of 25 years, including the two women and one male who have died.

“The government reassures the population that all measures are being taken to stem this epidemic as quickly as possible. It invites the populations of the affected areas to respect hygiene and prevention measures and to report to health authorities in the presence of suggestive signs,” Lamah said in the ministry statement.

The epidemic was declared after a crisis meeting Sunday. All suspected cases have been isolated in N’Zerekore and Conakry, the capital. Investigations have begun, a treatment center has opened and supplies have been sent to the region.

Traditional funerals in which people wash and touch the body of the deceased facilitate the spread of Ebola. It usually jumps to humans from infected animals, such as bats, and then spreads between humans via direct contact with bodily fluids.

Liberia’s president George Weah has mandated health authorities “to heighten the country’s epi-surveillance and preventative activities” and also ordered health officials to “immediately engage communities in towns and villages bordering Guinea and increase anti-Ebola measures.”

Sierra Leone has activated emergency response systems and heightened surveillance for Ebola at the already closed border with Guinea, it said.

International humanitarian and medical organizations are also racing to help prevent further spread of the virus.

The World Health Organization has said it is working to be sure that vaccines developed during the 2014 to 2016 outbreak, will be readily available as quickly as possible. Last month the World Health Organization said it was creating a global emergency stockpile of about 500,000 doses of the Ebola vaccine to help stamp out future outbreaks, but only 7,000 were available at the time of the statement. The Ebola vaccine being stockpiled is made by Merck.

“Time is of the essence. The resurgence of the virus in Guinea comes at the worst possible time when the country is already facing the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mohammed Mukhier, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Regional Director for Africa said, adding there is hope with scientific advances. “Unless the response is swift, the health, economic and social impacts are likely to be immense for millions of people in a country with a relatively weak health system, and where more than half of the population lives below the poverty line.”

The IFRC and Guinea Red Cross say teams that include more than 2,500 volunteers have been activated in Guinea to provide contact tracing, psychosocial support, water and sanitation.

The international medical organization Doctors Without Borders said it is also sending teams to combat the outbreak.

“We know from the past that the speed of response is important … We also know that community engagement is vital, so we will be trying to get the right balance between responding quickly and taking steps to make sure the community is a willing and active participant in both prevention and response,” said Frederik van der Schrieck, the organization’s head of mission in Guinea.

Guinea’s announcement comes more than a week after eastern Congo confirmed it has four cases of Ebola. The outbreaks in the two countries are not linked.

Ebola Guinea

Ebola Guinea

 

CONAKRY – Health officials in Guinea on Sunday confirmed that at least three people have died from Ebola there, the first cases declared since it was one of three West African nations to fight the world’s deadliest Ebola epidemic that ended five years ago.

An additional four people are confirmed with Ebola, according to a statement from the ministry of health. All seven positive cases attended the funeral of a nurse in Goueke on Feb. 1 and later showed Ebola symptoms including a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, said the ministry statement.

The government has declared an Ebola epidemic and started contact tracing and isolating suspected cases. It’s also sent an emergency team to support local teams in Goueke and has accelerated the procurement of Ebola vaccines from the World Health Organization.

“I confirm it’s Ebola. The results prove it,” Minister of Health Remy Lamah told The Associated Press by phone.

The patients were tested for Ebola after showing symptoms of hemorrhagic fever and those who came in contact with the sick are already in isolation, said officials.

Guinea’s announcement comes one week after eastern Congo confirmed it also had cases. The cases are not linked.

Health experts in Guinea say these latest cases could be a major setback for the impoverished nation, already battling COVID-19 and which is still recovering from the previous Ebola outbreak, which killed 2,500 in Guinea where it began. More than 11,300 people died in that outbreak which also hit the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2016.

“The resurgence of Ebola is very concerning for what it could do for the people, the economy, the health infrastructure,” said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, assistant professor of medicine for infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, who was the medical director of an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone during the previous outbreak.

“We’re still understanding the repercussions of the (last) outbreak on the population,” she said.

To contain the spread, the government and international health organizations must respond quickly and educate communities about what’s going on, said Kuppalli.

One reason the previous outbreak was so deadly was because the virus wasn’t detected quickly and local authorities and the international community were slow to act when cases first popped up in a rural part of Guinea.

The epidemic’s initial patient, an 18-month-old boy from a small village, was believed to have been infected by bats, but after the case was reported in December 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was weeks before a medical alert was issued and by then the virus had already spread and it took years to end it.

The new cases announced Sunday are in the Nzerekore region, the same place where the previous one started.

After hearing the news, locals in the capital, said they worried the country wouldn’t be able to cope with another outbreak.

“The news about the Ebola outbreak in Guinea is worrying. We already have difficulties dealing with the coronavirus, now, the health system will be overwhelmed by two pandemics,” said Mamadou Kone, a Conakry resident.

“I don’t know what this curse is hitting the Guineans, all the pandemics are falling on us,” said Mariam Konate, a nurse. “It’s like the country has been hit by a curse,” she said.

The origin of the infections is still unknown.

Health experts hope that the availability of an Ebola vaccine will help to quickly control this outbreak. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids from someone showing Ebola symptoms, or from corpses who were positive.

Last month the World Health Organization said it is creating a global emergency stockpile of about 500,000 doses of the Ebola vaccine to help stamp out future outbreaks, but only 7,000 were available at the time of the statement. The Ebola vaccine being stockpiled is made by Merck.

“There are tools and systems that can be mobilized quickly to address these cases. The key will be speed, ensuring appropriate people and materials are where they need to be,” said Donald Brooks, chief executive officer of Initiative: Eau, a U.S. aid group focused on water and sanitation, who has worked on establishing public health emergency response systems in West Africa.

“If not and it spreads to urban centers, it could result in disastrous loss of life,” he warned.

 

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Guinea declared an Ebola outbreak in one of its regions on Sunday, after the West African nation confirmed at least seven cases of the disease, including three deaths, the country’s National Security and Health Agency (ANSS) said.

Health officials in the southeastern N’Zerekore district said seven people who attended the funeral of a nurse tested positive for the disease and experienced symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding. Three of them died following the February 1 funeral. It is unclear if the nurse, who worked at the local health center, died from Ebola.

Five dead in newest Ebola outbreak in Congo, UNICEF says

The World Health Organization (WHO) has pledged support for Guinea, helping to procure the Ebola vaccine which has helped control recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its teams are already on the ground also helping to ensure infection prevention and control in health facilities and other key locations as well as reaching out to communities.
An Ebola treatment center will also be opened in the Gouecke region of N’Zerekore, where the outbreak was declared.
The Red Cross said in a statement that a network of more than 700 trained volunteers has been “activated as part of a first wave of response and the government has called on people to respect hygiene and prevention measures and to report signs of the disease to health authorities.”

The world’s largest Ebola outbreak to date started in 2014 in Guinea and continued to 2016, spreading into neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. More than 28,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 of them died.
The current outbreak has again started in a border area of Guinea and the WHO says it is working with health authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone to increase surveillance in border districts as well as improving the capacity to test for cases.
“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, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, in a statement.
“WHO is supporting the authorities to set up testing, contact-tracing and treatment structures and to bring the overall response to full speed.”
In a tweet, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “#Guinea has many years of experience battling #Ebola, with skilled incident managers and vaccinators… Government is taking action. One of the first steps will be ensuring community understands the risks and will join in response. Their role is crucial.”
Countries in West Africa are on high alert and Nigeria says it is monitoring the situation and will issue a public health advisory to address concerns in Africa’s most populous nation.
Ebola virus disease, which most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees, is a severe disease that first spreads from wild animals to humans. Humans can be infected by other humans if they come in contact with body fluids from an infected person or contaminated objects from infected persons. Humans can also be exposed to the virus, for example, by butchering infected animals.
On average, about 50% of people who become ill with Ebola die, though this has varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks, according to WHO.
New Ebola cases have also been reported this month in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On February 7, WHO announced a new case of Ebola in Butembo, located in the country’s North Kivu province. WHO’s regional office for Africa said Saturday that a third Ebola case had been confirmed in the town of Katawa, near Butembo.
The health agency said it is working with partners to provide essential medical supplies to support local health authorities. Vaccinations also commenced in the region on Monday.
The DRC has faced several outbreaks of Ebola to date. In June 2020, DRC reported its eleventh Ebola outbreak. A total of 130 confirmed and probable cases were reported, as well as 55 deaths.

 

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/15/africa/ebola-guinea-west-africa-intl/index.html

 


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