CONAKRY, GUINEA – Four people have died of Ebola in Guinea in the first outbreak of the disease in five years, the country’s health minister said Saturday.
Remy Lamah told AFP that officials were “deeply concerned” about the deaths, the first since the 2013-16 outbreak – which began in Guinea – which left 11,300 dead across the region.
One of the newest victims in Guinea was a nurse who fell ill in late January and was buried on February 1, the head of the Sakoba Keita National Health Security Agency told local media.
“Among those who took part in the funeral, eight people showed signs: diarrhea, vomiting and bloating,” he said. Three died and four were in hospital, he said.
The four deaths from Ebola hemorrhagic fever occurred in the southeastern region of Nzerekore, he said.
Keita also told local media that one patient had “escaped” but was found and hospitalized in the capital, Conakry. He confirmed the comments to AFP without giving further details.
The World Health Organization has monitored every new revolution since 2016 with great concern, treating the latest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as an international health crisis.
‘Test has begun’
Early Sunday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that the DA health agency had been notified of two suspected cases of the deadly disease in Guinea.
“A pilot test is underway,” the tweet said, adding that WHO regional and rural offices “support ready-made and responsive efforts.”
The DRC has been embroiled in several outbreaks of the disease, with the WHO on Thursday confirming a three-month recovery after authorities announced the end of the country’s most recent uprising.
The country had announced the six-month illness in November. It was the 11th Ebola uprising in the country, claiming 55 lives out of 130 cases.
Extensive use of vaccines, given to more than 40,000 people, has helped reduce the disease.
The 2013-16 revolution marked the development of a vaccine against Ebola, with the global emergency stockpile of 500,000 doses expected to respond swiftly to a future outbreak, the Gavi vaccine alliance said in January.