The World Health Organization officially announced on Saturday the end of Guinea’s second Ebola outbreak, which was declared in February and caused 12 lives.
In 16 confirmed cases and seven probable infections according to WHO figures, it has been estimated that the limited size of the latest failure has been the experience of the 2013-16 epidemic, which caused the death of most of 11,300 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Only 12 people died this time.
“I have the honor to declare the end of Ebola” in Guinea, said Alfred Ki-Zerbo, a WHO official, at a ceremony in the south-eastern region of Nzerekore, where the disease appeared in late gener.
International standards meant that Guinea had to wait 42 days, twice the virus. incubation period—Without a new case before declaring the epidemic over.
That wait ended on Friday, weeks after the last person was declared cured on May 8, an elderly person Health a ministry official told AFP.
Health Minister Remy Lamah also declared the outbreak ended “on behalf of the president of the state,” President Alpha Conde.
About 200 people attended the event on Saturday in a building of the Ministry of Health, including religious and local community leaders.
“We also have to thank the communities that came forward to overcome the disease,” WHO Ki-Zerbo said.
During the outbreak of the last decade, reluctance and direct hostility to Ebola infection control measures led some people in southeastern Guinea’s forest to attack and even kill government employees.
“Community engagement, effective public health measures and equitable use of vaccines” had this time been key to overcoming Ebola, WHO Head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
The UN agency said it had delivered about 24,000 doses of vaccine to Guinea and that 11,000 high-risk people had been shot, including more than 2,800 front-line workers.
“We’ve won Ebola, but we’re watching,” a banner unfurled at Saturday’s ceremony said.
“We need to be alert to a possible resurgence and make sure the Ebola experience expands to other health threats like COVID-19,” said WHO Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that genetic sequencing showed links between the previous outbreak and the last epidemic.
This year’s outbreak could have been caused by “a persistent infection in a West African outbreak survivor,” said the CDC, which stressed “the need for strong, ongoing survival programs,” as well as more research.
Ebola causes severe fever and, in the worst case, unstoppable bleeding.
It is transmitted through close contact with body fluids and people who live with or care for patients are at higher risk.
© 2021 AFP
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