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The first Ebola outbreak since 2016 has been reported in southeastern Guinea, West Africa. Three people have died and five people hospitalized due to the outbreak. The five hospitalized are isolated in treatment centers, according to officials. On Feb. 14, 2021, the provincial health minister Eugene Nzanzu Salita reported there have been four confirmed cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Those infected in Guinea began feeling ill after attending a burial in Goueke sub-prefecture. Those infected began experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding soon after the burial.
In 2013, the last major outbreak of Ebola began in Guinea. That outbreak resulted in over 11,000 deaths throughout the continent. The majority of those cases were in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
According to the National Agency for Health Security — Agence Nationale de la Sécurité Sanitaire (ANSS) — stated that further testing is being completed to confirm the latest Ebola diagnosis. They further said that health workers are working hard to trace and isolate contacts of the confirmed cases.
The ANSS commented that officials from Guinea will be contacting the World Health Organization (WHO) along with other international health agencies about Ebola vaccines. The United States Food and Drugs Administration approved the Ebola vaccines in 2019.
Reports have shown these vaccines have greatly improved people’s survival rates within recent years. WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, tweeted that the agency is “ramping up readiness & response efforts to this potential resurgence” of the virus in Africa.
Improved treatments and the vaccine have been attributed to staving off the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo in June 2020. During this time the virus killed more than 2,200 people.
This virus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. It is spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids. The virus is deadlier than COVID-19 and can not be transmitted through asymptomatic carriers. The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported two deaths within one week because of the Ebola virus.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Independent: Guinea reports first Ebola cases since 2016, including three deaths; by Bethany Dawson
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