The West African country of Guinea has officially declared that it is dealing with an Ebola epidemic after the deaths of at least three people from the virus.

They – and four others – fell ill with diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding after attending the burial of a nurse.

Newly developed vaccines will be acquired through the World Health Organization (WHO), officials said.

Between 2013 and 2016 more than 11,000 people died in the West Africa Ebola epidemic, which began in Guinea.

Health officials have lined this particular outbreak to a funeral at the beginning of February for a nurse from a rural health facility.

In a statement posted to Facebook, the Guinean minister of health said officials plan to isolate all suspected cases, begin contact tracing, and work on getting doses of the Ebola vaccine from the World Health Organization.

“The government reassures the people that all measures are being taken to stem this epidemic as soon as possible,” Rémy Lamah said, calling on Guinean citizens to report any Ebola symptoms to officials.

WHO staff are already on the ground, helping to set up testing and treatment facilities, the organization said. Because the epicenter of the outbreak is in a rural community near the border, the WHO is also working with health authorities in neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone to look for any evidence of cases there.

Other countries in West Africa are on high alert.

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.

Let’s hope the World Health Organization does a better job handling this situation than the coronavirus outbreak last year at this time.

 

 
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