Ebola Virus in Guinea Eradicated: Or Has It?
In March 2014, 86 cases of Ebola showed up in Guinea. Fifty-nine of those persons died.
Guinea’s Minister of Health notified the World Health Organization (WHO) that Ebola was evolving rapidly. Even heavily forested areas in southeastern Guinea were affected.
Six of seven blood samples taken from suspected cases tested at the Pasteur Institute in Lyon, France were Ebola virus positive. The tests confirmed the initial Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Guinea.
Together with WHO, Guinea’s Ministry of Health and other partners have begun measures to manage the outbreak and keep the virus from spreading. The health ministry implemented emergency management committees at both national and local levels to coordinate the response. Information was passed to the public with instructions on how they can help avert the spread.
Interdisciplinary teams were deployed to the field to search and manage cases as well as trace and follow-up contacts.
The Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN) is working with Guinean VHF Labs in Donka, the Pasteur Institute and the Kenema Lassa fever in Sierra Leone to boost patient management and other aspects of controlling the outbreak.
Concerts and Fireworks
Before Guinea was declared Ebola-free by the WHO in September 2015, the disease killed over 2,500 persons and 9,000 more in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Since the declaration, Liberia has reported new cases. A nation is considered free once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case.
“It’s the best year-end present God could have given to Guinea,” said Ebola survivor Alama Kambou.
The celebration and fireworks notwithstanding, local health workers echo a warning from the WHO that vigilance is still vital.
“We must be careful. Even if the open transmission has been stopped, Ebola has not been completely beaten,” said Alpha Seny Souhmah, a Guinean health laborer, and former-Ebola patient.
As usual, we recommend to do all types of vaccinations before going to Guinea. Medical facilities are being called on to respond quickly as over 100 health workers died in the fight against Ebola.
Guinea’s government has blamed the virus for the country’s sluggish economic performance