AFRICA/GUINEA - New Ebola infections in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Conakry (Agenzia Fides) - On February 14, the government of the Republic of Guinea officially confirmed a new Ebola epidemic, while some cases of hemorrhagic fever were also reported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Seven positive cases have been confirmed to date, including three deaths, according to local health officials. Guinea was one of the West African countries that was hit by the last Ebola epidemic, which lasted three years from 2013 to 2016 and caused 11,300 infections across the region.
One of the youngest victims was a nurse who developed symptoms in late January and died on February 1. The local health department confirmed this to the local media, according to which "some people who attended the funeral later had symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding and fever". The affected region is that of Nzerekore in the southeast.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has observed every Ebola outbreak since 2016 with extreme concern: in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular is treated as a global health emergency.
The DRC has faced many Ebola outbreaks, and three months after the authorities declared the end of the country's latest epidemic, WHO confirmed a resumption of the infection. It wasn't until November last year that authorities confirmed the end of a six-month outbreak. Overall, it was the 11th outbreak reported by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with 55 deaths. Vaccinating more than 40,000 people has helped prevent further outbreaks.
The 2013-2016 outbreak spurred the development of an Ebola vaccine. As the GAVI vaccine alliance announced in January, international emergency stocks of 500,000 doses are now available for future outbreaks. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 16/2/2021)