The government of Guinea reported this Sunday that the country is going through a new Ebola epidemic after the death of at least three people from that virus.
The deceased and four other infected suffered diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding after attending the funeral of a nurse.
It was reported that they will purchase vaccines through the World Health Organization (WHO).
Between 2013 and 2016, more than 11,000 people died in an Ebola epidemic in the West African region.
That time the outbreak started precisely in Guinea.
In response to that epidemic, which mainly affected that country and its neighbors Liberia and Sierra Leone, several vaccines were tested and have since been used successfully to fight contagions in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“The World Health Organization is on high alert and is in contact with the manufacturer (of the vaccine) to ensure that the necessary doses are available as quickly as possible,” said Alfred George Ki-Zerbo, WHO representative in Guinea. by the AFP agency.
Immunization against Ebola was first tested for four months in 2015 in Guinea, and drugs that can increase the survival rate of patients have also been developed in recent years.
How did this outbreak start?
A nurse working at a health center near the southeastern city of Nzérékoré died on January 28 and her funeral took place four days later.
The community funerals, in which people help to wash the body of the deceased person, can be a way to spread Ebola in the early stages of an outbreak.
The bodies of the victims are particularly toxic. The incubation period can last from two days to three weeks.
Ebola jumps to humans from infected animals, such as chimpanzees, fruit bats, and antelopes.
Bushmeat hunted for human consumption is believed to be the natural reservoir for the virus.
It is then spread between humans by direct contact with blood, body fluids, or organs. infected.
All those infected at the nurse’s funeral were over 25 years old, Guinean health officials reported.
Following an emergency meeting, the Ministry of Health reported that all identified cases were isolated and that their contacts with other people were being traced.
How have Guinea’s neighboring countries reacted?
This new outbreak is in roughly the same area where the epidemic began in December 2013.
Given the cross-border trade between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the relatively weak health systems they have, there are concerns that the outbreak will spread.
The President of Liberia, George Weah, asked the health authorities of his country to be on high alert.
Umaru Fofana, a journalist for the BBC in Sierra Leone, indicated that there much more fear Ebola than Covid-19 in that country.
Although he added that the existence of vaccines provides a certain sense of relief. There is a global emergency stockpile of 500,000 doses, available through an international vaccine alliance.
The three countries have a combined population of 22.5 million people, which raises concern among manufacturers as they would have very little time to produce a massive number of doses.
Much more now because vaccines for covid-19 are their priority, says Fofana.
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