Guinea Ebola Case Toll Climbs to SevenApril 11, 2016 in Ebola
Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) voicing confidence that remaining isolated cases of Ebola could be contained, health officials confirmed on Wednesday 30 March that a resurgence of the deadly virus in a rural Guinean community has killed seven people. The news comes just a day after the WHO reported that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa no longer constituted a international emergency.
The announcement of new cases demonstrates the continued difficulty of managing the aftermath of the virus. The death of a man, two of his wives and his daughter were announced by Guinean health authorities two weeks ago. On Wednesday, they confirmed that a third wife and a mother-in-law also died after becoming infected in the village of Korokpara. According to Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for Guinea’s Ebola response unit, “on March 30, there are nine registered cases and seven deaths: three suspected and four confirmed.” Outside the family, a man died on 22 March after testing positive for the virus in the city of N’Zerekore. Sylla further disclosed that two more people, one suspected case and one confirmed, were receiving treatment at a dedicated Ebola facility in southern Guinea, not far from the border with Liberia. More than a thousand people who are believed to have come into contact with the victims are being monitored for symptoms and offered support by the authorities, with restrictions placed on their movements.
While the country was declared free of Ebola transmission at the end of last year, a significant number of deaths are believed to have gone unreported and flare-ups relating to the persistence of the virus in survivors’ bodies pose ongoing challenges. A WHO report on Ebola, which was released on Wednesday, disclosed that the virus present in the blood of one of the confirmed cases was “closely relate to (the) virus that circulated in southeastern Guinea in November 2014.” In its report, the WHO warned that “additional cases are likely because of the large number of contacts. Those most at risk are also being vaccinated against the virus.